Communities encouraged to ‘get Ireland growing’ through planting initiative

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Three-hundred communities across Ireland will be able to avail of €42,500 worth of growing starter kits, through the Energia and GIY’s ‘Get Ireland Growing’ initiative, which aims to continue to sow the seed of community spirit.

The restrictions of the pandemic brought with them a newfound appreciation for green spaces as a sanctuary. This initiative hopes to encourage communities to regenerate green spaces in their local areas and to further re-ignite community connection. 

Mick Kelly, Founder of GIY, said: “Growing food as a community has always been a part of Irish culture. This year, Energia Get Ireland Growing is all about getting back to growing food together and reconnecting with nature by recapturing the skills and reaping the rewards of growing your own food.

“It is about bringing to life the spaces we share and tending to the communal plot. As we are coming into summer it’s the perfect time to start planting some of our favourite vegetables and we’re thrilled to be partnering with Energia again to help in our mission to bring food growing back to the heart of the Irish community. Let’s nurture what’s in our nature and get Ireland growing again”.

Bestselling author of Owning It and The Confidence Kit, Caroline Foran, said that she noted a “massive rise in anxiety” due to the ongoing pandemic, stating that even people who have never experienced anxiety before suddenly felt it.

“Activities like gardening and growing your own food gives you a chance to focus on something and put your mind to work with a goal and a task in mind and is a great opportunity for bonding with your family and friends. The happiness and stress relief of an activity like growing food and seeing something come to life provides a great opportunity to connect with loved ones”, she said.

Community groups, such as a sports club, resident’s association, a Men’s Shed, a Tidy Town Association, a parent’s association or an environmental community network, can take this opportunity to introduce food growing into group activities.

However, people who are not a part of a community group can still take part by bringing the idea to a friend group. You could plant in each other’s gardens, host a growing morning together to swap seedlings, find out whether there is a local vegetable patch in your community or reach out to a local star grower to learn the basics.

To register with ‘Get Ireland Growing’ and be in for the chance of winning a community growing kit that contains seeds to share with your group, please visit

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