The sociable side of growing fruit and veg got a boost last Saturday 18th September when the second Grow It Yourself Conference took place in the intoxicating environs of the Guinness Storehouse  Conference Centre. It was great to meet up with so many experts and enthusiasts. The No.1 guest was Uachtarán na hEireann and GIY enthusiast, Mary Mc Aleese who brought a certain gravitas to proceedings.

Michael and Eilish Kelly, Feargal, Dave and the Waterford GIY pioneers were there in force proving again they are great organizers. The line up of speakers made the day worthwhile too.

Duncan Stewart spoke well and from the heart about the unsustainability of the way humans right now feed themselves in the main. The energy humans consume has us heading for 6 degree centigrade above pre industrial level wheareas we need to not go over 2 degrees if runaway climate chaos is to be avoided – is that a wake up call OR is that a wake up call? Let us grow more of the food we currently have to import and grow it without fossil fuel derived fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides. Using harvested rainwater and supporting the local Country Market, Farmers’ Market and local shops are also good ways to reduce the ‘carbon footprint’.

Klaus Laitenberger gave us the reality check of growing fruit and veg in Irish conditions, particularly in the West, where land is sold by ‘the gallon, instead of by the acre’! He urged us to be patient, not to sow too early. Often better to sow in May than in March. Klaus can meet all his family’s fruit and veg need from his 20 by 10 metre patch.

Workshops and diverse sessions with Nicky Kyle about polytunnels and John Carney about Community Supported Agriculture and Fionnula Fallon about Walled Gardens etc all added to good memories of the day

Congrats to Joe Hurley who was awarded the prize as GIY-er of the Year and the Bray GIY Group as Top Group.

Now back to the juicing which I did on Tuesday evening, freezing another 13 litres for use at Christmas or when another GIY event is organized in Trevor’s Kitchen Garden.




2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by James O Donoghue on September 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    A very enjoyable day. Thanks to all involved. Great site Trevor.


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