Local families invited to sign up for 'I can grow' scheme
03 December 2020
If you've always wanted to try your hand at growing your own food, then now's your chance thanks to a new programme launched by the Community Foundation working in conjunction with Derry City and Strabane District Council.
During the pandemic Council has been encouraging people to try growing their own through a series of horticultural 'how to' videos. Council officers have now joined forces with the Community Foundation's NI Acorn Farm Project, with support from the National Lottery's Climate Action Fund, The Conservation Volunteers and University College Cork on this project, to help Derry and Strabane become a thriving, sustainable region that can feed itself.
100 households across Derry and Strabane are now being invited to take part in the Acorn Farm's 'I Can Grow' programme, which aims to equip families with the skills and know how to grow their own veg.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, today encouraged people to get their hands dirty and discover the joy of growing their own produce through the scheme.
"This is a fantastic project and one which is very timely as people spend more time at home and have a new appreciation for their own outdoor spaces. This initiative is also a great opportunity for families to enjoy some new activities together. It's been a challenge for parents finding things to occupy young children when they can't go to the cinema, other entertainment venues or visit family and friends.
"In terms of the environment it's a great way of instilling the message that home grown is always better, and that we should all be trying to reduce our carbon footprint by reducing our reliance on shop bought, imported goods.
"All the know-how and equipment will be provided to get you started. There are so many benefits, I hope to see lots of local families signing up and getting their hands dirty!"
Continuing to import vast amounts of food is simply unsustainable causing so much pollution and harm to our environment. Not only does growing you own food help the climate, there are lots of health benefits too. Taking time to sow seeds, nurture and eat fruit and vegetables also has great benefits for mental and physical wellbeing as well as helping save money.
Families will be provided with raised planters, compost, tools, vegetables and a helping hand from trained growers over two growing seasons. All they have to do is commit some time and energy to the project.