John Walsh and Tom Morris at the allotments in Altamount
Community spirit and camaraderie is at the core of the Kilkenny Allotments and Community Gardens and it is these traits that will ensure its continued success.
Hidden away behind a busy housing estate on the outskirts of the city and adjoining the railway tracks entering into the Marble City, this venture is an oasis of growth, peace, nourishment and wellbeing.
The project has been a considerable time in gestation but the fruits of commitment and energy are clearly seen.
Committee member Tom Morris explains that it was Green Party Councillor, Malcolm Noonan initially put forward the idea of selling up a community allotment in 2011. A group of interested parties joined forces, funding was obtained from the local authority and a suitable site was identified and following consultation with local residents the council gave the group the green light to plough ahead.
In total there are 27 plots and they are carefully tended with fruit and vegetable and herbs growing in abundance. John Walsh and Tom Morris show me around and it is clear that there is a wealth of knowledge that is generously shared among the plotholders. Incidentally so is the surplus produce, which is plentiful.
At present the allotments are full and there is a waiting list but once in a while one comes up. Insofar as is possible organic methods are used and any waste is composted.
The allotments take time and care to tend but provide an abundance of locally sourced, healthy food at a fraction of the price it would cost to buy. The generosity of wisdom and tips on growing techniques and what seeds will grow best and at what time of year ensure a real community feel to the place where time seems to stand still.
The annual cost of an 80 metre plot is €100 which includes insurance and water. An open day at the Kilkenny Allotments will take place on August 18 during Heritage Week from 10:30am to 2:30pm. The allotments are located at the rear of ShandonPark/Altamount housing estate. All are welcome.