Growing your own community

photo of leeks by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

I got the leeks again – what a project!   Last Saturday we collected compost, propagating trays and seeds from ‘base camp’ in the village of Harold’s Cross.  Our mission: to go forth and germinate.

Basically, we plant the seeds in little pouches of compost (made from newspaper).  We keep them warm and damp for a while until they start to sprout.  Next we’ll be moving the trays of seedlings to the HX Grow polytunnels.  As the seedings get established we’ll be transferring them into single pots and gradually ‘hardening them off’ so that they get used to living outdoors.  Then the sharing starts!

We all got different seeds, some got lettuce, some scallions, some kale etc.  Some people got flowers to attract the bees.  The idea is that we can swop with each other at the next stage so that everyone has a greater variety of plants to care for.

gardening photo by eoin mac lochlainnIt’s a wonderful project and it’s growing all the time.  There are over 100 households involved at this stage.  We can keep in touch while staying apart.  It’s so nice to have something other than Covid restrictions to talk about – and always interesting to check out how other people’s patches are developing, as we look over the garden walls on our daily walks.

Now, if you were wondering about my leeks, the photo above was taken this week but they are the leeks that I planted last autumn.  Amazing how those great yokes can grow from one tiny black seed.  Definitely worth giving it a go, wouldn’t you say?

photo by eoin mac lochlainn of growing potato plants in garden
My potato plants (last year)

And once you’re involved in planting, you begin to notice other things.  You become more aware of the weather, the bees, the worms, slugs, biodiversity, climate change, life, the universe, EVERYTHING.

Most of all, there’s a new community spirit developing in the area.

Imagine if every area had a similar project.  My, the amount of vegetables that could be grown right here!  And so fresh!  There’s nothing like going out to your own garden and digging up some spuds.

Have you tried it yet?  Here’s our video from last year.  Such fun!

Biodiversity Ireland


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