In the spring of 2013 funds were raised to get a Castleisland Community Garden idea off the ground – appropriately enough. A piece of land was rented for a nominal sum from the Presentation Sisters and a poly-tunnel was bought and erected.
Three years and a handful of months down the road, another tunnel has been added and a lot more gardeners to go with it. More ridges have been raised and edibles set and are growing and being looked after this year.
There is a purely organic outlook about the garden and a zero tolerance policy on chemical sprays or interventions of any kind.
It is a truly community effort. Between the nuns with the land and people from here and there donating the necessary funds to get the project going and Monsignor Dan O’Riordan dropping in to officially bless and launch the 2016 growing season earlier.
Though the garden is busily growing away through the various plots or allotments, project manager, Willy Reidy is keen to get more local people involved before the next growing season. He’s the man with the plans and the plots.
Willy’s contact number is on the garden gate – just off the yard of An Riocht AC and it’s also at the end of this piece.
He’s planning to let four foot by 20 foot plots to willing gardeners for €25 for the year. New gardeners will be supplied with all the advice and know-how they require to get started. Their plots will even be already dug, turned and manured.
All they’ll have to do it plant and maintain the plots for the duration of the growing season and enjoy the fruits and vegetables of their labours later on.
The long term plan is to promote the growing of vegetables and fruit through organic methods. This will run alongside an educational policy on native and heritage plants, shrubs and trees, biodiversity and composting.
Training courses are held regularly and learner-gardeners are frequently invited to attend in the course of the year. Willie Reidy can be contacted on: 087 96 19 351
You can also find out more about Castleisland Community Garden by rambling in when you see people working in there and Willy is anxious to encourage that kind of open gate policy.