Community Ethos & Growing Your Own Food

Eating Weed! Michael McDonnell enjoying home-made locally grown nettle soup prepared by Caitriona Ní Mhuiris in the Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden

Setting up a Galway city Branch of 'Grow It Yourself'
I am involved in helping to organise a public meeting on Tuesday Mary 17th at 7.30pm in the Menlo Park Hotel to launch the establishment of a Galway city branch of 'Grow It Yourself'.
Now with circa 8 ,000 Irish members (& growing), it was set up by the inspirational Michael Kelly from Waterford, who will be guest speaker on the night. All are welcomed to attend. So anyone who has an interest in growing one’s own food in anything from a small window box container to a field, should attend this event which will be launched by famed GIY founder Michael Kelly from Waterford.

So please take us up on our offer!

We as a nation need to become more self-reliant in food- for economic, social and environmental reasons
As the GIY website states;
This current generation is probably the first in human history that is almost entirely incapable of producing its own food. The vast majority of us are almost 100 per cent reliant on a commercial food system to supply us with the very thing that keeps us alive - food.

The power in our food chain is increasingly concentrated
in the hands of a small group of stakeholders (in Ireland 82% of the grocery market is owned by five supermarket chains). We have handed over the keys to our survival to a small number of powerful producers, distributors and retailers.
Growing Together. Volunteers working in the Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden
It would be one thing if the product on offer was above reproach, but it is nothing of the sort. The things that we cherish about food – its ability to nourish us and make us healthy; it’s variety, vibrancy, flavour and taste – have been sacrificed for profit, yield, shelf-life, uniformity and continuity of supply. The food chain relies on entirely unnecessary chemical interventions (pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides), placing an unbearable stress on the health of our planet’s most important natural resource – soil.

As a result, our food is less healthy than it used to be – UK and US government statistics indicate that the levels of trace minerals in fruit and vegetables fell by up to 76% between 1940 and 1991 (McCance and Widdowson, 1991).

Our food chain is no longer about feeding ourselves – it is about trade. We import €5 billion worth of food in to Ireland each year (much of it food that we can grow perfectly well here) and at the same time export €7 billion. Our food spends its time in a state of near perpetual transit - the average distance travelled by vegetables from farm to fork is a staggering 1,494 miles.

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