Hello Folks and happy New Year folks from myself Joanne Butler @OURganic Gardens , I hope you are all well and preparing your garden for a blooming year ahead.
I want to update you on a few things happening this year with myself and projects that I am currently working on.
My focus this year will be mainly at my home in Gortahork
( http://www.ourganicgardens.ie/contact.html ) where I will be running a Monthly garden project (Starting on Tuesday 31st January @10am-4pm) We will also be hosting other various workshops including introduction to tiny homes , live willow weaving and herbal remedies to name a few . (dates of all these workshops will be announced in the coming weeks when we have our new updated website) www.ourganicgardens.ie
I will still be working hands on in a small number of community garden projects helping out with some new ideas and continuing some older ones! Dates and times for these projects will be announced to gardens involved .
I am also working closely onsite with Gairdín Gort a Choirce volunteers in a project called the SEED project (Social Enterprise Empowering Development) . Here volunteers will gain experience growing plug plants and ground ready garden packs for community gardens and tidy town groups : the different packs include different sized vegetable gardens packs (small , medium or large) as well as the juicing garden pack , the herb garden pack , the polytunnel pack and also a pollinator flower pack consisting of 10 different varieties of bee friendly plants that will encourage pollinators and biodiversity into your garden or tidy town .
All garden packs come with a garden plan and can be delivered when hardened off ready for the ground . This project has been funded by Local Agenda 21 and all profit will go directly into creating further enterprise projects for the group at Gairdín Gort a Choirce. This project has been approved by the All Ireland Pollinator Plan and will be encouraging more projects to be developed For the Community By the Community ! More details on The SEED Project including a pre order form please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org . If you need any further information on this or would like to get involved please feel free to get in touch .
I will also continue my volunteer work as Chairperson for the Donegal Community Garden Network and work is ongoing to prepare for the launch of this in the Spring, as well as networking events and creating a community garden map in Donegal . I am delighted to see this network coming to life and I look forward to meeting all the gardens throughout the year and in the coming weeks I hope to plan a strategic REPS meeting to find out the need and wants of community gardens in Donegal . As some of you may be aware I am also the Secretary of Community Gardens Ireland and all the work being done in Donegal will be highlighted throughout the national network to promote what we do and to inspire other counties to do the same .
And last but not least (for now!) I have developed a new Community gardens facilitator initiative where I hope to run a number of training sessions for aspiring tutors of Community Gardens in the County . Gardeners that may already be running gardens or wish to start a new community garden , will be given the soft skills in likes of class planning , communication and environmental ethos. The aim will be that we have more community garden facilitators from the ground up helping make their own gardens and groups even better places where people want to come to and get involved . I myself will still be involved with the community gardens throughout the county but as hard as it is to admit I can not be in so many places as much as I was last year . For more information on this initiative drop me a line as we will be taking names to see if there is interest.
I will be promoting all these projects and initiatives through social media other ways but if you can help spread the word in any way possible please do . I also want to continue to promote the All Ireland Pollinator Plan and the People4Soil Campaign .. if you want to help support and promote these also within your groups then please let me know !
With all this work ahead , I really do look forward to the coming year and as I plan these dates and workshops in the next few weeks I look forward to hearing from you all if you need further information .
I will have more exciting news and events to promote throughout the year but for now I want to thank all my gardeners and colleagues for their help and support to date and here’s to a very productive and healthy 2017 !