If you’re looking for advice on community gardening you’re in the right place. Dee Sewell of Greenside Up is a keen advocate and has talked on many occasions about the benefits to both communities and people. Helping to set up and offer ongoing support to several gardens in the South East of Ireland, Greenside Up offers services from design and hobby gardening courses to accredited tuition.
Dee is a voluntary coördinator of the Community Garden Network that was established to support community gardening in Ireland and Northern Ireland and was a finalist in the 2013 Green Leader Award category of the Irish Green Awards as a result of her community gardening work.
Bagenalstown FRC Community Garden, Co Carlow
Dee worked with the Family Resource Centre from the very beginning – helping with the design, advising on the setting up and then running hobby courses and gardening with after schools children, funded both privately and through Carlow VEC.
Ballyfoyle Community Garden, Co Kilkenny
This garden started as a hobby gardening course funded by Kilkenny VEC. As a result of all they’d learnt and discussions on what they could do, the group went on to develop the community garden.
Ballan Community Garden
Dee was funded by Carlow VEC to run a six-week course for the Ballon gardeners that included a mixture of theory and demonstration to help them develop their garden.
Callan Community Garden, Co Kilkenny
Funded by Kilkenny Leader Project as part of their Community Food Initiative from November 2012 through to November 2014. Dee began mentoring and tutoring the (Callan) Droichead Family Resource Centre group with their garden, taking the group from seed to sale at Savour Kilkenny Food Festival.
Castle Activation Unit, Carlow
Castle Activation Unit is a day centre for adults with intellectual disabilities and in the secure garden Dee has worked with the group to create a container garden within their community garden. For the past four years, during the warmer months, Dee has worked with the staff and patients to provide a gentle form of horticultural therapy, and in doing so, they have created a very special type of community garden.
Clonegal Community Garden, Co Carlow
Created in 2013, Clonegal community garden is situated in the centre of the award-winning village. Dee created a tailored hands-on series of six-week workshops to accommodate both experienced and beginner gardeners with the aim of increasing their knowledge and encouraging new members to join in the community garden activities.
Derrinturn Community Garden, Co Kildare
Derrinturn were in a stalemate situation. They had a beautiful piece of land but didn’t know how or where to start. Greenside Up provided the design, drawings and instructions that enabled this group to get growing.
Glen na Bearu Community Garden
Funded by Carlow ETB, Dee provided tuition for an intergenerational gardening project at the Respond Community Centre in Glen na Bearu, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow. On Wednesday mornings for 12 weeks, Dee worked with a group of adults, teaching them about growing food, food waste, composting, companion planting and beneficial insects. The knowledge gained is being shared by the Youth Workers to the teenagers who spend time at the centre in the evenings.
Goresbridge Community Garden, County Kilkenny
Goresbridge was the first community garden Dee worked with and the one that decided the direction of Greenside Up. Supported by Kilkenny VEC and Kilkenny Leader Partnership, Dee helped this garden grow for four years, teaching adults the basics of growing vegetables.
Kilkenny Allotments & Community Gardens
A new group in 2013, the Kilkenny Allotments and Community Garden project was a collaboration between Kilkenny Vocational school teachers, parents and allotment holders with Dee’s time funded by Kilkenny VEC.
Leighlin Parish Community Garden, Co Carlow
In collaboration with Leighlin Parish, funded by a combination of the Parish and Carlow VEC and with full support and land donated by the parish priest, in 2012 Greenside Up helped this group of community gardeners design, develop, plant and grow their garden.
Millennium Court Community Garden, Co Kilkenny
What started with a hobby gardening course in the autumn of 2011 developed into a BTEI accredited course in outdoor vegetable crop production funded by Kilkenny VEC in 2012. The original garden was improved upon, added to and a full range of fruit and vegetables sown and grown. Knowledge learnt has been passed to the local children with nature and biodiversity themed summer camps being run by the centre.
School of Food, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny
This is a new garden that’s being created at the School of Food in Thomastown to complement the kitchens and chef training centre. Having just completed a ten week FETAC 3 in Outdoor Vegetable Crop Production with a group of 16 adults and funded by Kilkenny ETB, Dee will be facilitating a hobby course throughout the summer months, with further accredited courses planned for the autumn and winter of 2015.