What is a Community Garden?
Community Gardens are all about sharing, both the work and the harvest, and they can have very positive social, economic, environmental and community development benefits (Ohmer, L.M. 2009). They are gardens that are cultivated and tended by groups of people, can be rural or urban, school, institute or community run, and be full of fruit, vegetable or flowers. A community garden can be on land that is publicly or privately owned and they are popular across the world.
Community Gardening in South-East Ireland
Dee Sewell has helped a diverse range of community gardens set up in the south-east of Ireland and she was one of the founding members of Community Gardens Ireland in 2010.
A national voluntary organisation that was established to support community gardening in Ireland and Northern Ireland, CG Ireland has over 120 member gardens mapped. With CG Ireland, Dee was one of two coordinators of the GROW Place Ireland project, a European Horizon 2020 citizen science project that was monitoring soil moisture for climate change scientists. She is also a regular contributor to Global Green in Electric Picnic where Dee coordinates a pop up community garden each year.
Community Garden Workshops
Dee has been a part-time educator with Kilkenny Carlow Education Training Board since 2010, providing community education to adults in community gardens. She has also delivered QQI Level 3 component modules in Outdoor Vegetable Crop Production, Planting and Potting and Horticulture. In 2019 Dee worked directly with the Carrick-on-Suir Local Training Imitative delivering a QQI Level 5 major award component in Plant Identification and Use.
Over the years she has provided full day, weekly and monthly garden workshops to a wide range of groups. Some examples are:
- Carlow Integration Forum
- Inistioge National School
- CBS Secondary School, Carrick-on-Suir
- Kilkenny Allotments & Community Gardens
- Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre After Schools Club
- An Gairdin Beo, Carlow Town
- Carlow Older Persons Forum
- School of Food Thomastown, County Kilkenny
- Carlow Irish Wheelchair Association
- SOS Kilkenny