Leighlin Parish Community Garden group started on 24th February 2012 and after just three months, with minimal funding, they have achieved so much already.
The community garden is being created in Fr Lalor’s garden and the parish donated €500 to get it started. Carlow VEC have funded most of my time and anybody gardening with us on a Friday morning is asked to chip in €2.00 towards seeds etc.
Shear hard work and determination has got the garden to where it is, with more barrow loads of manure and top soil being emptied into the beds made by the gardeners than I could count. Every week and through all weathers a core of hardworking volunteers have arrived with smiles and camaraderie.
There are a mixture of age ranges - with Nana’s bringing grandchildren and Dad’s bringing their sons.
We’re growing a variety of basic vegetables – from potatoes, onions, garlic, kales, cabbages to lots of varieties of roots, herbs and beans that anybody involved in the project will share amongst themselves as they are harvested.
Several members of the group have never seen vegetables grow, only picking them up in supermarkets so they’re looking forward to watching the beans form and are fascinated by the swelling courgettes.
As well as edible crops, the group are also creating a bed that will be full of flowers and used to create displays in the church ~ giving something back to the parish that has funded the project so far.
There are lots of plans for the community garden in the future – creating more vegetable beds, adding more flowers and herbs, as well as erecting a fence and adding a polytunnel so that we can grow warmer climate loving crops.
The parish are hoping to encourage other local groups to make use of this facility too, making the gardening project a true community effort.
This was to be my last morning working with the group but as I sat writing up this post I heard that my funding has been extended for another six weeks. I’m delighted to have more hours with them as there’s so much more we can do and they can learn.
If anybody wants to find out how they can become involved in this or other community gardens in Ireland, you can email me and I will forward on information.