This ongoing project with the St. Mary’s Church community has proved a big hit with our members. It is an opportunity for the gardeners among us to do what we love and grow a variety of vegetables while socialising.
The collaboration between Clonmel Tidy Towns, Old St Mary's Church Community and Clonmel Soup Kitchen continues into 2023. Having consulted with the Soup Kitchen we now have a plan in place for the type of produce that works best for their clients. We spent time over the Winter months preparing additional raised beds. We are again joined by Tús placement workers who, with our own members, have been busy planting seeds for the coming season. All of our raised beds and the greenhouse have been created entirely from old wood and glass. Rain water is also collected on site for use in the garden.
This year the number of beds has been extended and a small greenhouse, created entirely from old wood and glass will allow the growth of tomatoes and cucumbers.
Clonmel Tidy Towns and Old St. Mary’s community have once again joined up with Clonmel Community Soup Kitchen. All the food that is grown in the community garden is given to the Soup Kitchen. This year we are also providing information sheets on how to use various vegetables. We have members of Old St. Mary’s Church in our group as well as Clonmel Community Soup Kitchen Volunteers. It has allowed us to reach out and easily engage with other relevant groups and allow these amazing projects to succeed.
As part of the planting scheme we also plan on providing a plant swap facility near the vegetable garden. With a primary school and doctors surgery on the same road, there is a good traffic of people through the grounds of the church whom we hope to engage with and encourage to grow their own.
The grounds staff at Old St Mary’s saw a post we shared about the GIY ‘Grow it Forward' campaign. Mistaking it for a project we were involved with, they asked would we like to come and help them create a ‘grow it forward’ garden on the grounds of Old St. Mary’s. A couple of our volunteers who live in apartments jumped at the chance to have a garden to grow food. Another member of our team is also involved in a soup kitchen so we had our food recipients. The ground staff at Old St Mary’s under the direction of Bernard the groundskeeper, have cleared a site and built several raised beds. Tidy Towns members have grown seedlings at home and shared with the gardeners. This is a really exciting project that allows some of our members engage in an activity they love but cannot otherwise enjoy. While it is not in our 5-year plan, we feel that opportunities like this cannot be refused.