The Community That Eats Together Stays Together

What a joy it was to work last Saturday in  the Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden. 
We decided to give this year's Harvest Festival a 'Slow Food' theme and provide an array of dishes made from the vegetables, fruits and herbs grown in our garden whilst encouraging people to eat and to chat together.
Picking Plums in the garden

Much work was done in advance by volunteers picking, collecting, cooking and baking the harvest produce.
Cepta picking berries from a hedgerow for tarts
Myriam & Sohiela harvesting Sloe Berries
It was a great success as hundreds of people turned up! 
Blackberry & Apple Tart
The tarts, cakes, salads, jams and soups made in advance were particularly popular as where the baked potatoes made onsite in our outdoor oven. Michael Tiernan, Michael McDonnell and Jack O'Connor from Cumann na bhFear (Men's Shed) installed a traditional open fire hearth complete with vintage black metal kettles and pots as they brought people back into time to an Ireland of 100 years ago as they served up mouth-watering bacon and cabbage, bread and tea (loose tea leaves). 
Times Past: Boiling Cabbage & Spuds on a traditional open fire

Baking Potatoes in the Garden Oven
Deasún Ó Seanain and Frances Brady gave us some lovely traditional Irish music seisiún, and Helen Caird had a sample of her lovely art work on display. 
Mayor Donal Lyons with Anh & Hung from Vietnam
Mayor Donal Lyons made a lovely supportive speech and we were visited by other politicians including councillors Anna Marley, Mairéad Farrell and Terry Flaherty (below).
Councillor Terry O'Flaherty has been a regular visitor to the garden over the years
Community Food Gatherings
Locally grown organic food using old and new recipes to make mouth watering dishes, salads, soups, desserts, tarts, jams, cakes and breads that were presented in a communal neighbourhood gathering is a gel that bring a community together. 

Wildlife Food: Small Tortoise Butterfly enjoys an Oxide Daisy FLower in the Garden
The event also allowed attendees to learn and to appreciate the importance of the importance of biodiversity and of how we need to nurture wildlife especially in an urbanised environment. 
Last Saturday's event will be the first of many. 

So thanks to the great team of garden volunteers (below) that made it all happen

A group of visitors from Sandyvale Lawn

Visitors from the Insight Research Centre at NUI Galway

Happy Hay Girls!  Johanna & Bernie from Crestwood

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