Greenside Up ~ Teaching Growth. Teaching Green
Founded in the early summer of 2009, Greenside Up teaches people how to grow their own vegetables without chemicals and to lead more sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyles, causing as little impact to the environment as possible. The aim of Greenside Up is to teach as many people as possible this basic life skill, either in real life through workshops or community gardening, virtually through social media and more recently in the form of the Greenside Up Seed Gift Collections.
Dee Sewell is the inspiration and driver behind the business. She’s a qualified horticulturist and trainer with a passion for the environment and growing vegetables, whilst her husband Ian is the creator of anything wooden and as a qualified arboriculturalist, the man to ask for anything tree related.
The Greenside Up office and gardens are based between Carlow and Kilkenny, 100 km south of Dublin, though you wont be expected to find them, lost 1,000 feet up in the hills as they are. One of the things that makes Greenside Up different is that Dee travels to wherever people want to learn – in their own homes, gardens, allotments or communities, thus helping to keep their carbon footprint as low as possible. It’s more energy efficient and therefore kinder for the the environment for a trainer to travel to a venue than 15 people drive to a trainer.
Aside from teaching people with special needs and under fives to teenagers and adults across the full social economic spectrum, Dee uses social media to share her knowledge. She believes that customer service should extend beyond the initial visit and therefore follows up with newsletters, updates on all the popular social media sites and is a prolific blogger. This was recognised in 2012 when Dee secured finalist positions in both the Social Media Awards and the 2012 Blog Awards Ireland, all of which helps to spread the growth and green word.
As well as working with folk in their own gardens, Greenside Up has run workshops for Family Resource Centres, community and parish centres, private guest houses, the HSE, Rural Development, Kilkenny Leader Partnership and Ossary Youth. As a result of her experience helping beginners learn how to grow their own, Dee created the monthly projects for the GIY Ireland Operation GIY Nation and has written articles for My Kids Time, as well as guest blogs and online magazine articles.
Community Garden Network
With a passion for community gardening, in 2011 Dee was instrumental in founding the Community Garden Network Group that was established to support community gardening in Ireland and Northern Ireland. She voluntarily coordinates and promotes this new group on press and radio as well as administers the Facebook and Twitter sites and along with other members, the NING forum that was launched in the autumn of 2012. The Group meet quarterly in different towns and cities around the island and are supported by Healthy Food for All, Dublin Community Growers, Transition Ireland & Northern Ireland, The Organic Centre, GIY Ireland and The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. For more information take a look at the Community Garden Network website.
An integral part of the business ethos is a commitment to recognising the importance of protecting our environment, and helping others do likewise.
Without compromising on customer service, all course notes are initially offered by email and in the event that they are printed, paper is sourced from sustainable forests or recycled.
Greenside Up actively promotes vegetable gardening without the use of artificial chemicals, and positively encourages wildlife into gardens.
As well as growing vegetables, customers are encouraged and advised how to reduce their landfill, to stop food waste by composting and recycling, they learn about beneficial insects, biodiversity, companion planting, water conservation, the impact of using peat and informed about genetically modified organisms.
If you’d like to get in touch with Greenside Up and find out more about what they do and how they can help you, see the contact page for details. To keep up to date with workshops, things to do and grow in the vegetable garden or what’s happening in the Greenside Up world, please feel free to sign up for the monthly newsletter by completing the boxes below or to receive blog posts by email, sign up on the blog subscription page.
If you’d like to read more about why Dee chose the career she did with the perils and joys involved in running a small business, take a look at her interview with HortiTrends here.
Greenside Up is a Registered Company No. 388060