Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Andrew McGuinness at the launch of the new initiative outside Kilkenny City’s Carnegie Library
People in Kilkenny are being urged to avail of a new initiative, launched this week with the support of the local library service, to help them grow their own food from seed to plant at home.
In partnership with Healthy Ireland and Libraries Ireland, GIY has announced the launch of Grow it Forward. Through this initiative, 50,000 free food growing kits will be given away, with participants are asked to use the kits to share the experience with ten people, enabling half a million people across Ireland to enjoy the wide range of benefits that come from growing food at home.
Budding GIYers are invited to claim a Grow it Forward pack at giy.ie/growitforward or by contacting their local library, as all 330 branches nationwide are helping to drive the effort. As part of the Government’s Keep Well programme, the campaign is designed to help the nation eat well by inspiring and supporting people to grow some of their own food at home while connecting with friends and family to join them.
Each food growing pack includes seeds for beetroot, carrots, salad leaves, peas and tomatoes; a guide to help grow them and a postcard and gift tags to help share them. Those who sign up will also receive regular e-mails with growing support, video clips and ideas for how to ‘grow it forward’ by passing on seeds, seedlings or produce in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
“I would encourage people to get involved in this worthwhile programme which will inform and empower people to care about their food, have a successful growing experience and ultimately lead to increased wellbeing,” says Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Andrew McGuinness.
Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council Colette Byrne said local authorities and libraries were delighted to partner with GIY on the GROW It Forward programme.
“As the days brighten all of us are looking for things to do and what better way than growing your own healthy and nutritious food from seed?” said Ms Byrne.
“When you sign up, you’re not just getting seeds, you’re getting a whole programme of support and the opportunity to share your new knowledge along with seedlings, plants and produce with friends and family. This could be a lovely intergenerational project where grandparents share seedlings with grandchildren and keep in touch and share photos as their vegetables grow.
“Library staff will be available to support and guide you through your growing journey so contact your local library today to sign up and get started. You don’t have to be a library member but this is a great chance to join because as well as a free Grow It Forward e-book, you’ll have access to thousands of gardening and cookery books and magazines so you can continue to develop your new hobby.”
People can either register for a Grow it Forward pack while supplies last at www.giy.ie/growitforward or contact your local library and the seeds will be delivered to them.
Kilkenny County Council Library Service will also provide ongoing support with online videos to help get your planting started. There are also a vast collection of online books available as well as e magazines and training courses on universal class. All for free.
The library will also work collaboratively with Kilkenny Parks Department and the Environmental Awareness Officer to provide resources and track the story of growth from seed to plant to food.
For more information contact your local branch library, GIY ambassador Marie Smith in library headquarters at 056-7794160 or kilkennylibrary.ie/eng/our_services/keep-well/grow-it-yourself.
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