In the spring of 2015 Sarah Barron, the Education Resource Officer for Respond Housing Association applied for funding for a tutor from Kilkenny Carlow Education Training Board and Dee Sewell from Greenside Up started working with a new group of gardeners on what became known as an intergenerational gardening course within Gleann na Bearu.
For two hours a week for six weeks, Dee taught the adults the basics needed for a successful organic garden – crop rotation and vegetable families, weeding and pest control without chemicals as well as garden design, potting, planting and transplanting.
In the afternoons Catherine and Dani who work for Carlow Regional Youth Services, passed on everything they learn to the teenagers. The garden is like another room for the teens all year round and a place of tranquillity for anyone looking for it. The young people are planning to build more pallet benches over the coming months and paint all the new raised beds; they’re an integral part of this shared space.
Last year Respond provided three raised beds and topsoil was sourced from the local hardware shop. Like many gardens, funding was tight so the group planted seeds into toilet rolls and tetra packs and learnt how to grow food on a budget.
The community garden has now become an important part of the communities lives, apart from learning about flowers and vegetables it’s a place of laughter and friendship and of course a sense of community.
The garden has been entered in the Pride of a Place competition. The group are planning a date for another garden party soon, and this year will be inviting members of the new Carlow community garden network to join in as well as the local schools and tidy towns group.
To read all about the Community Garden at Gleann na Bearu, please click on the link here.
The group meet every Wednesday from 10am until 12 noon and welcome newcomers so don’t be shy if you’re tempted to join in.
Posted: June 2016