Hippies Network Too!

Hippies Network Too!

After all the cold weather and a very late start to the Spring, what better way to kick start the growing season than a meeting of the Community Garden Network. Started in 2011, the CGN has been working hard to link up community gardens throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is virtual connection for community gardeners, providing support and promotion, sharing resources, learning, and exchanging ideas. 

The meeting was hosted on the day by the wonderful Doorus Community Orchard, near Kinvara, Co. Galway. The orchard is a beautiful old walled garden and is a magical place to visit. The gardeners that voluntarily run the garden have a huge knowledge on fruit and vegetables, and are more than happy to share what they have learned along the way about having a fruitful yet exposed garden close to the Atlantic coast. Here's a link to their website, Doorus Community Orchard.

As community gardeners, we all face the same hurdles of funding, sustainability, commitment and consistency. It is wonderful using this network to tap into the knowledge and experiences of others. Instead of each garden group working away on their own and trying to surmount these hurdles independently, we now can share tips, ideas and initiatives. On the network, one will find both a mix of community garden groups as well as individual growers. It is also used as a list of common community gardens in Ireland. With regional advisors throughout Ireland, it is an excellent way to find a garden project near you to become involved with. 

The CGN also provides information on interesting upcoming events and open days. As well as workshops and training days. At the recent meeting of community gardeners we had a very informative few hours focused on plant propagation and pruning. As the season moves along, the CGN will no doubt be seen networking at many horticultural shows and events. Their past postcard gardens at Bloom flower show were a great success and this year will be no exception. Keep your eyes peeled for the Bloom 2015 CGN garden, and call in to chat all things community and social gardening. The CGN have their finger well and truly on the organic pulse of Ireland and are doing all they can to keep community gardens growing from strength to strength. 

I would encourage as many community gardeners, horticulturalists, therapists and social groups to join this fantastic network and reap the benefits. Find them at Community Garden Network

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