Our food systems, community and environment are changing at faster rates than we’ve ever experienced. We’re living in a time where the digital world is giving us a sense of speed, efficiency and instant knowledge yet no time to spend time or do the things outside that we want to do. As we become more embedded with technology, society is changing and we’re in danger of disconnecting with what really matters: the planet, soil, nature, community, family, health and food.
Dee Sewell trading as Greenside Up is helping to bridge that gap with horticulture using organic principles. Here’s how she does it by providing social and therapeutic gardening and environmental education, community garden talks, garden design and consultation.
Greenside Up encourages greater environmental and food awareness helping to transform individuals and communities. Having qualified in Market Gardening at Kildalton College, Dee can help establish vegetable, fruit or flower gardens where people can live in harmony with local biodiversity, albeit within a community, urban or rural setting. From design to build, short or long-term horticulture and/or environmental education, or garden consultation, Dee has experience working within many settings.
As a voluntary founder member of Community Gardens Ireland, Dee can connect you with other community gardens where you can learn how to become involved in this beneficial way of growing your own in various locations throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. Dee has spoken at several events nationally about community gardening, from start up to establishment, including the highlights and pitfalls.
People are coming together from a vast range of social economic backgrounds in community gardens. They’re sharing knowledge, learning new skills, experiencing how growing vegetables can save money and being outside in the garden with nature is good for their mental and physical health.
We’re learning how growing, preserving and selling produce grown in a community garden can empower you and your community. For more information take a look at the community garden blog articles or contact us.
There are several definitions for social and therapeutic horticulture. UK charity Thrive UK describe it as “the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills. It also uses the garden as a safe and secure place to develop someone’s ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent.” Research has shown there are many benefits to people and their communities when we implement social and therapeutic programmes.
Dee Sewell has attended Thrive UK practitioner training and has worked with several groups in Carlow combining social and therapeutic methods with horticulture. Clients include the Castle Activation and Delta Centres, working with adults with intellectual difficulties, Merchants Quay Ireland, working with adults struggling with chemical dependency, members of Irish Wheelchair Association and older people resident in a nursing home.
Workplace gardens come in all shapes and sizes and include a diverse range of people who like to meet in them to learn, share and grow.
If you’re a workplace that would like to add value to your organisation, we are pleased to be able to offer a garden package that will give your staff an alternative to sports and social clubs and help to create self-sustaining communities for a changing and challenging environment.
If you don’t have room for a garden, we’ll do our best to connect you to a local community garden or can offer staff wellbeing talks and demonstrations at your premises.
Dee shares information digitally by writing a multi-award winning blog and operates several social media channels, helping to make sure the eco/green word is spread far and wide. As a qualified horticulturalist and transformative community education trainer in the south-east of Ireland, Dee personally tailors garden talks, gardening workshops and vegetable growing classes to suit.
She shows people how to reuse and recycle in the garden, be aware of water and energy use and how to garden without the use of chemicals while encouraging wildlife and biodiversity.
“Alone We Can Do So Little, Together We Can Do So Much” Helen Keller