Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Paul Ross launching the GIY project in the garden of Mrs Philomena Fallon from Ballymahon
Longford County Library in partnership with Grow It Yourself and the Healthy Ireland Keep Well campaign, have just launched an exciting new project encouraging everyone young and old to try their hand at growing their own vegetables.
Grow it yourself (www.giy.ie) have supplied the libraries across Ireland with free seed packs to distribute to all those who register to participate in the Grow it Forward programme.
Each food growing pack includes seeds for beetroot, carrots, salad leaves, peas and tomatoes; along with a guide to help grow them and a postcard and gift tags to help share them among friends and family.
Everyone who gets these seed packs are asked to use them and to share the experience with ten other people, among their family, neighbours and friends.
The aim is to encourage half a million people across Ireland to enjoy the wide range of benefits that comes from growing food at home.
Those who sign up with the library and provide their email will also receive regular emails with growing support, video help from local gardening experts Mary Holmes, Brendan Farrell and Fiona Egan who will also be available with lots of ideas for how to ‘grow it forward’.
Speaking at the Longford Launch of the project in the garden of Mrs Philomena Fallon Ballymahon the Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Paul Ross said : “The pandemic has seen a record number of people turn to growing their own food and discovering the joy and pride that brings.
“The process of seeing a seed that is planted in the ground turning into food you can eat and sharing your seedlings or produce with family and friends brings a great sense of joy and achievement. Grow it Forward is all about sharing that feeling as far and wide as possible at a time when we all need it most.”
Librarian Helen Sheridan who is Longford’s Grow it Forward Ambassador said “We only have a limited number of seed packs to distribute through each of our Branch libraries so we are encouraging everyone who is taking part to make the best use of them and to share the grow it Forward experience with 10 other people.
“You can post seeds on to family or friends who live in other places, or leave seedlings on your wall or fence for people to take, or share the vegetables you have grown with neighbours and friends.
“Longford Library are asking you to send in photos of your vegetables that we can share with others on our library facebook pages and to please keep in touch with us throughout the project. Already there is huge interest in the project from all over the county and further afield.”
County Librarian Mary Carleton Reynolds said, “Anyone can to take part regardless of your past experience in growing or the amount of space you have to grow in.
“The library staff and the Grow it yourself website will give you lots of help once you register with the library and collect your GIY kit. All of our libraries have a wide range of great gardening and cookery books and there is also a great selection of ebooks that can be downloaded from the Borrow Box section of www.longfordlibrary.ie.
“We encourage everyone to take part and to spread the word of the GIF initiative to their friends and family.
“Unfortunately there is a limited number of kits so remember to register early, as they will be sent out on a first come, first served basis.
“For our older citizens who cannot get to their local library please call us at 0433341124 and we will arrange for the seeds and the books to be delivered to your door. We hope you enjoy being part of the Grow it Forward programme and look forward to hearing about your happy experiences.”
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