Rathcoffey community garden makes it into final 3 in Ireland

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Rathcoffey community garden makes it into final 3 in Ireland
10:05 Thursday 14th of February 2019

A community vegetable garden in Rathcoffey is in the running to win a national competition.

The Energia Get Ireland Growing fund, picking the best Community Garden in Ireland, will be announced on the Today with Dáithi and Maura show on RTE next week.

Community groups across the 32 counties entered but the garden in Mooretown Drive in Rathcoffey has been whittled down to the final three.

Up to 11 local part-time gardeners work together at growing vegetables at the site.

Other gardens in Co Offaly and Co Leitrim are also in the running for the top prize.

The Energia Get Ireland Growing Fund is aimed at promoting food growing in the community.

The Fund will be distributed in 86 awards and 85 of those will be in 3 main categories, Sow (€500), Grow (€1,000) and Harvest (€2,000).

The last award will be for €5,000 which will be chosen by the Today Show audience on RTE TV 1.

Groups that entered included schools, creches, hospitals rehabilitation centres, mental health facilities, allotments with communal space, community gardens and not-for-profits looking to develop or enhance an existing community food-growing initiative.  

The funding can be used for infrastructure, training, tools, equipment, seeds, plants, compost, raised beds, polytunnels, beehives, ponds, edible hedgerows, orchards - or anything you can use to grow and eat in a community setting.

The Energia Get Ireland Growing Fund is aimed at supporting community food growing initiatives run by groups like community and voluntary groups, NGOs and not-for-profits, community gardens and allotment projects, Education facilities and Healthcare facilities.

The projects all have an element of outreach, promotion and inclusivity and should have some plan to encourage more people to grow their own food.  

Entries also should improve the quality of life for participants, provide a catalyst for neighbourhood and community development, stimulate social interaction, encourage self-reliance, reduce family food budgets, conserve resources, create opportunity for recreation, exercise, therapy and education, preserve green space.

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