Grow it Yourself going from strength to strength

The impact of The Savour Food Festival continues as Kilkenny’s GIY Group (‘Grow It Yourself’) delivered an early Christmas present to a 14-year-old teenager in Castlecomer last weekend.

The impact of The Savour Food Festival continues as Kilkenny’s GIY Group (‘Grow It Yourself’) delivered an early Christmas present to a 14-year-old teenager in Castlecomer last weekend.

Kilkenny GIY, which organises events to encourage local people to grow their own food, were delighted to present Kelsey Warburton and with her very own raised seed bed.”Its great to see young people so interested in growing their own,” said Rónán Mac Raois of Kilkenny GIY. “We had a great response to our stall at the festival – especially from the many young people who were learning about where food comes from.”

Colette Dalton and Rónán Mac Raois of the GIY Steering Group presented Kelsey with the prize (a little heavier than your average trophy) for having guessed the correct number of veggies in a massive brandy glass at The Savour Kilkenny Food Festival. Out of 200 entries, the only correct guess was Kelsey’s. The three were unexpectedly joined at the presentation by ‘Tommy’ the neighbour’s donkey! Clearly sensing some good eating in the future, he wandered over in the middle of the presentation much to the merriment of Kelsey, GIY members and the photographer. Kelsey who is 14 years old and attends Castlecomer Community School was delighted to win the prize worth over €80 for her family, which will provide them with a lot more than €80’s worth of free and fresh greens in the new year.

GIY aims to inspire people to grow their own food and give them the skills they need to do so successfully. They do this by getting people together online and in community groups around Ireland so that they can learn from each other and exchange tips, ideas and produce. GIY meetings are free and open to people interested in food growing at all levels. “We have members who grow a few herbs on their window ledge as well as those with average urban gardens to others who are completely self-sufficient. It really is a wonderful mix of beginners to old hands” said Colette.

Beside the important task of asking the public to guess how many mini veggies in a giant brandy glass Kilkenny GIY’s stall at the savour food festival was turned in to a public potting shed where locals and tourists were encouraged to ‘Sow, Grow and Show’! Over 200 happy members of the public sowed a broad bean at the stall and will now grow it at home and then show a friend just how easy it is to grow food yourself.

Kilkenny GIY meetings are free of charge and open to all, experts and absolute beginners alike. So if you are growing your own or would like to learn from expert talkers and chat to like minded people: Meetings are normally held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm, upstairs in the Home Rule Club on John’s Quay. For farm and garden visits this can change however, so email Ronan at kilkennygiy@gmail.com or call 086 169 9420 for details of the next meeting. For tips and advice from a network of more than a thousand growers see www.giyireland.com.

For further information and photographs please contact Rónán Mac Raois at 0851967700 or kilkennygiy@gmail.com