Community garden to become social, health, environmental and learning hub

After the winter break, the Ballinfoile Mór Community Garden will reopen this Saturday (February 18 ) at 11am.

The organising committee for the garden, which is located behind Lus Leana on the Headford Road in the Terryland Forest Park, have ambitious plans for the year ahead ranging from a children’s Scarecrow Festival in April, to crafts workshops in the summer to the turning of the soil by a horse drawn plough in the autumn.

According to chairperson Brendan Smith, “We want to make this green neighbourhood resource a wonderful friendly outdoor venue where people can socialise, grow organic fruits and vegetables as well as to learn the traditional eco-skills from composting to pruning that our grandparents possessed. The garden will continue to develop as a social, health, learning and environmental hub for the neighbourhood of Castlegar and Ballinfoile and indeed for the whole of Galway.

The latest medical scientific research is showing the mental and physical health benefits to people of all ages that comes from spending time surrounded by plants and trees. It is what doctors are now referring to as the ‘Green Prescription’.

“By working with others in amongst our fruit trees, vegetable plots and herbal beds as well as by participating in our educational courses, volunteers to our community garden will be encouraged to bring this knowledge back home so that they can grow tasty safe foods in their own gardens to be served on the kitchen plate for the enjoyment of the whole family,” he said.

“Growing food organically enriches the soil, reduces our carbon footprint, does not pollute the environment, helps the local economy, reduces a household’s food bill and improves personal nutrition. Just as important a well-maintained organic garden is by nature a diverse place, filled not only with food crops, but flowers, birds, insects, bees, butterflies and birds. It is a sanctuary for wildlife at a time when 25 per cent of Ireland’s native species are under threat. So we are asking people to join us in continuing to develop this local community and outdoor educational centre.”

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