GIYGathering 2011


Sowing seeds of growth and renewal in Waterford. Up to 1,000 gardeners, foodies and revellers in Waterford City this weekend for the GIYGathering 2011, in association with Waterford Harvest Festival.

Up to 1,000 GIYers travelled from across the country to celebrate the Harvest at their two-day annual festival, the GIY Gathering. There were over 40 talks, demos, workshops, panel discussions, debates and forages over the two days. Says Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cooking School and GIY Patron ‘It’s an extraordinary leap from last year for GIY, long may its success continue’.

Highlights from the weekend included: Foodies enjoyed Cook It Yourself demos: cooking with weeds and wild foods, for the harvest, butter making, butchering a pig and mushroom foraging. World-class gardeners, Bob Flowerdew, Klaus Laitenberger and Joy Larkcom, gave advice and tips for the year. Topics included composting, permaculture, seed saving and biodynamics. Teachers, restaurants and hospitals learnt the practicalities of setting up a garden and its benefits. Education was a strong focus of the weekend, with networks ofcommunity gardens and allotment projects sharing skills. In the People’s Park, a pop up allotment appeared out of nowhere to promote allotment growing in the city. The GIY Street Feast was a tremendous success, serving up a banquet of local and home-grown food from the South East for 600 people.

The Great GIY Food Debate was held on Sunday with an expert panel including GIY founder Michael Kelly, Bob Flowerdew, Darina Allen, John Mc Kenna, farmer Pat Lawlor, journalist Dr Oliver Moore and Paddy Gleeson, Woodies DIY with Ella Mc Sweeney as chair.

Seven days, seven actions to help plant seeds of growth within your community:

  • Choose local, make sure that your food travels the shortest distance possible and invest in your local economy
  • Start a petition for a school garden in your local school
  • Find out more about superior soil, the microbes, the creepy crawlies and pass on that knowledge to the nearestchild
  • Plant a seed – the season’s not over! There is still time to plant winter vegetables
  • Set up a community garden or a Community Supported Agriculture initiative in your area – share the labor and the bounty
  • Start your Christmas list, giving loved ones a wish list of fruit trees and bushes – and return in kind (whether they like it or not!)
  • Teach your children a life long skill by introducing them to the joys of growing food.

About GIY:

GIY is a registered charity that aims to make home-grown food the norm by inspiring people to grow their own food and giving them the skills they need to grow successfully. We bring GIYers together in the community and online so they can have fun and learn from each other. GIY was founded by author and journalist Michael Kelly in 2009 and there are now nearly 100 GIY groups around Ireland and 10,000 people involved. The organisation started in Australia last year and will launch in the UK in 2011.

For more information contact Sarah Fleming at GIY Ireland on +353 51 834138 or email, Skype: sfleming1706, Twitter: @giyireland