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 50 member gardens mapped. They also coordinate the GROW Place Ireland project, a European Horizon 2020 citizen science project that is monitoring soil moisture for climate change scientists, and are regular contributors to Global Green in Electric Picnic.
Community Garden Workshops
Dee has worked with Kilkenny Carlow Education Training Board since 2010 providing community education to adults in community gardens as well as 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 Initative 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