Last Thursday, 10th June, 50 fellow kitchen gardeners dropped in at 7pm for a ‘tour’ of the garden and I managed to rustle up a cup of tea and cake  for them all.  It was Naul GIY group through Denise Dunne of The Herb Garden who first mooted the idea of a GIY garden visit and it turned out to be a very enjoyable and informative evening, (for me anyway!).

Naul was well represented as were GIYers from Skerries, Bog of the Ring, Lusk, Rush, Lucan, Donabate, Swords, Malahide, Garristown, Ballyboughal, Smithfield in Dublin City and of course Balbriggan GIY stalwarts were there too. I learned a fair few things myself from the banter during a balmy blue sky evening.

For example,  we were told garlic cloves are  best sown on the shortest day so they can be harvested on the longest day. So I look forward to celebrating the longest day by harvesting my modest garlic crop. It was suggested the Minister for Finance would appreciate a bulb or two. Supplying the Minister with garlic is the least I can do for my country!

The garden tour was also a win-win in that I had a very bushy cabbage patch which I needed to clear to make way for young beetroot and rainbow chard plants growing too big in modules. Lo and behold, the cabbage bush was stripped bare before the night was out. So over the weekend the remnants of last years brassica patch was finally transformed into a new season beetroot and rainbow chard patch. I hope my guests enjoyed cooking and tasting  this heritage variety of ‘everlasting cabbage’ which is generally not for sale in the shops.

Sadly this is but one example of fruit and vegetable varieties which used to be common but are now no longer widely available. I read that 100 years ago the USA had 100 times the varieties of edible plants available commercially compared to today. Humankind is becoming more and more dependent on fewer and fewer food species of flora or fauna. Worldwide three quarters of all food now derives from just 8 species. I read also that 98%  of all commercial seeds are controlled by just 6 companies, DuPont, Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, Aventis and Mitsiu. At the same time, a third of all USA health spending is on diet related problem and Ireland has a history of copying US trends,

So as well as kitchen gardening being an instument of healthy community resilience, co-operation and self-reliance, there is also a important job to do in maintaining and enchancing the diversity of food species that have been developed over generations  to make communities not just wealthy but healthy too.

Photos courtesy of C.Finn:

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Fionnuala Fallon on June 15, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Hi again Trevor,

    Not sure if you got my last comment but I was hoping that you’d email meback as I wanted to talk to you about a book that I’m working on for Collins Press ( based on the success of a weekly column called Urban farmer, which I write for The Irish Times) all about the different people growing their own in Ireland. My email is and I look forward to hearing from you.

    All the best,



  2. Thank you so much Trevor.
    It was a lovely evening and I think everyone must have learned at least one new thing!


    • Thanks for the feedback Denise,
      We were blessed by the weather. I see you are hosting a visit to The Herb Garden yourself. I’ll try to get along.
      Best wishes


  3. When is the next garden visit planned


    • Hi Thomas,
      The next social garden visit I am planning is on 25 July 2010. Drop an email to my office I can get back with more details then. Please let me have your postal address in case details to send are in hard copy.
      slán agus beannacht.


  4. Posted by 20 huntstown Court Mulhuddart Dublin 15 on June 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I Have just rented an allotment in Tyrrelstown dublin 15. This is all new to me but i want to learn and try to grow my own veg, If any one has any tips for me (, that would be nice) I know it is a bit late in the year but i only got the plot 2 weeks ago. Phyllis


  5. Posted by Trevor Sargent on May 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the blog. Thanks for the encouragement. Good luck with your own growing. Trevor


  6. Posted by Trevor Sargent on May 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you for letting your followers know about Trevor’s Kitchen Garden. Best wishes with your own food growing adventures. Trevor


  7. Posted by Trevor Sargent on May 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Hi there,

    Good to hear from you. Hope the blog is an encouragement to you ( and your former room mate) to grow some food.

    Kind regards,



  8. Posted by Trevor Sargent on August 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement. Delighted you are enjoying the blog. Suggestions and feedback always welcome.




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