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The GIY Rathgar Terenure Talk

 

I got an email in some time ago from a friend of mine. Séan wanted me to do a talk on growing your own. He is a member of a new movement call GIY – grow it yourself – that seems to be sweeping the nation.

I had heard about GIY but I didn’t really know a vast amount of exact facts about it being honest. The talk I did was Monday, just gone, April 27th

The GIY movement was set up to encourage people to get together to share expertise in food growing.As we have become increasingly urbanised we have lost a lot of the knowledge and skills that our grandparents had in food growing, storing and cooking. GIYIreland aims to tap into our desire to reduce food miles and to produce and consume organic food by organising groups at a local level so that people can learn those old skills from each other and connect with like-minded individuals. GIY Ireland has charitable status.

As regards the group I was to speak to Séan sent me this wee note….

The Rathgar/Terenure GIY group was set up at a meeting in the Rathgar Junior School (RJS), 62 Grosvenor Road in February 2010. We have a mix of allotment growers, garden owners and those with just a balcony to grow on. Most of the group are beginners but there are some experienced members and we hope to bring in experts to share their knowledge and expertise. Our group numbers about 30-40 very enthusiastic amatuers and we would welcome more members.

In this case [and in short] I spoke about how I used to grow plants under my bed when I was 4 all the way up to today…. and that pretty much not a whole lot has changed if you elminate 20 odd years of decking, cobble and garden design fads. In that same breath horticulture has only changed in how it is presented, packaged and sold…. the way in which it is done, for fun, shall never alter. And in those four/ five lines [compressed] that took an extremely refreshing [one member commented after] a little over 45 minutes 😉

I must admit I had just left the coombe hospital and hadn’t eaten. But the reception I got was amazing. The appreciation shown and the wee gift given and beautifully wrapped left me breathless. Sincerely, it was an absolute honour to speak to such a fine group gentleman and ladies.

The format then is that the group sit in ‘pods’ [a small group] and discuss a specific topic helping each other out with their star bit of advice. The pod I was in ended up discussing composting. I was blown away…. but as I later answered in th Q & A [the final part of the meet] everything, not living anymore must decompose – the only thing that may vary is the preparation and how you do it. As long as your smiling at the end 🙂

GIY Rathgar/ Terenure meet on the last Monday of the month in the RJS. For more info email: dalysmith [at] iol [dot] ie or phone Sean on [vodafone prefix]6369636

*other images of GIY talk

Donabate Allotments

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I was talking to Trevor Sargeant at another gig. Trying to find a time that suited us both to meet we settled on meeting at the allotments in Donabate on Saturday morning. However which way it happened we missed each other.

I took a walk around anyway and I have to say I was very impressed with the enthusiasm that was literally brimming out there…. phenomenal 😉

Some were just getting started, others had just short of set up home there…. I’m looking forward to heading back in a few months time to see the transformation form what at the moment is just the beginning of what I can only say is something amazing.

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Gardening…. It’s Kids Stuff

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You may remember I was asked to do a gardening class at the La Leche League of Ireland annual conference. On Saturday 6th March I travelled to Maynooth Co. Kildare to do just that.

I know I’ll be doing a gardening course soon, but, there are some obvious major differences in the populus breakdown of those attending on March 20th.

Most can drive cars. Legally. On a motorway. At speeds of up to 75km per hour. Some will shave and in general I will assume most have their house not in a tree.The class mates on this occasion where very much the opposite. 😉

If I did have a plan…. it went straight out the window within the first 10 seconds. The general idea was to grow some seeds. To get the hands dirty. To do so inside and to have some fun with gardening in mind.

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In a previous class the children had decorated old glass jars and these were used instead of pots. Compost was felt and softened, hardened and softened again. It was stuffed into jars and emptied. The seeds were opened and compared; the large broad bean seed versus the speckle of dust like lettuce seed. Funnily enough, most of the boys chose the big broad bean while the girls chose chives. So much more practical and logic they decided.

All in all and in just under 2 hours the class was completed. Some asked for extra advice on how to care for theirs… others already knew. My only fault, in hindsight, was the fact that I was an Arsenal fan and that didn’t go down so well with the boys…

The jars were sealed up ready for some to take their seeds on a long journey to their new home. Either or it was gardening and it was great fun. I just hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. 🙂

Many thanks to Joan Broe and Jennifer Foxe for being so nice. Really appreciated 🙂

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A Gardening Course …?

update 13th March 2010: One space has become available… pop your name down below, email or text me if your interested 🙂

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Over the last weeks I’ve been researching chatting with some friends about gardening and the usual how to bits of outdoor advice.

From those conversations came the suggestion that I should do a crash course of some format in ‘gardening‘.

I did teach horticulture and courses before. But this class request or what one should get at the end of it is to be slightly different as those urging me to do so are not horticulturalists – moreso they have a window ledge/ balcony or only wish to garden in small amounts and stints.

The outcome…? Either a one day course in gardening at my homestead or a 1.5 hour evening course in Dublin City Centre over a 3/4 week period. The majority in this case decided on a one day workshop.

To tailor make this session to the people and their wants I am proposing the following:

  • a one day crash course from 9.30am – 3.30pm
  • The first day/ date is Saturday March 20th
  • cost of materials only to be covered set at €60 per person
  • you take home what you make on the day
  • lunch will be included
  • to take place in Ballyboughal [it’s near Swords/ North Dublin 😉 ]
  • numbers will be limited to a maximum 8 people only

What we will achieve on the day:

  • gardening basics
  • how to grow your own from seed
  • growing plants on a budget
  • window ledge balcony gardening
  • looking after your plants
  • planting your planters
  • growing in a confined space
  • not enough hours in the day/ the 10 minute gardener
  • herb and salad kitchen gardening

this email just came in and sums it up nicely….

Basically: this is for the [wo]man, parent, adult, child who wants to do a bit of green living but not farming. Enough to have summer salads, fresh herbs, maybe even some fruit – at the same time logic enough that you’ll watch footie/ daytime tv and go out rather than hug trees. You’d like a bit of green, you need a place to start but without getting bamboozled – and let it grow from here….

The idea is simple enough and if numbers run over/ demand is great enough/someone approaches me with a suggestion I’ll do a second class/ consider those options then.

If you would like to do this class – or – have any queries or suggestions

  • pop your name down as a comment below
  • email me info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com
  • telephone me on [vodafone prefix – and then] 6594688

What do you think …..?

UPDATE:

If numbers fill up for the first group of 8…. assuming there is demand enough – I will do another day course. Put simply I’ll let the names spill over to a second group of 8 and we’ll call it from there. Crawling versus walking and all that cliché stuff 😉

Once again – your course/ class made better by your suggestions…. pop them in comment box below 🙂

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