Lord Mayor says ‘Hello, neigh-bour’ as he meets Moses at urban farm

by Rachel Darcy

Raheny has become home to the city’s first urban farm, having been officially opened by the Lord Mayor last week.

The new farm will take pride of place in St Anne’s Park, and will be entirely run by volunteers from the local community, on a non-profit basis.

St Anne’s City Farm is intended to be used as a place for Dubliners to visit to learn all about growing food, cooking food, sustainable living, animal husbandry and to allow those in the city to reconnect with nature.

It is hoped that the farm will be fully sustainable through its lifetime, with a zero-carbon footprint.

The farm is not designed to be a ‘petting zoo’, but rather to educate people on farming and environmental projects.

Speaking at the opening of the urban farm, Lord Mayor Nial Ring said: “The opening of the first city farm in St Anne’s Park will be an incredible amenity for the local community and Dublin city.

“The farm will give children and adults from the city an opportunity to learn about raising animals, growing food and seeing other farm-based activities in an urban setting.

“It adds yet another brilliant amenity to the wonderful recreational facilities that already exist in St. Anne’s Park and we should all congratulate Dublin City Council and the volunteers who gave such commitment to ensuring the delivery of this great project.”

Volunteers on the farm will manage and care for the animals, which include two pigs, nine chickens, three goats, a guinea pig and Moses the pony.

The farm will also include a new Raheny’s men’s shed, and will complement the allotments located in St Anne’s near the urban farm.

Marion Kelly, one of the volunteers from St Anne’s City Farm, said: “The farm follows in the footsteps of other community farms in London such as Hackney city farm and Spitalfields city farm.

“We believe that every child and grown-up should have access to a garden and that everyone in the garden is equal.

“By providing a safe and open space for people to share what they know and learn from others, we strive to empower people through knowledge and creating. We are so excited to open our doors.”

Leslie Moore, head of Parks Services in Dublin City Council, said: “There were many submissions to the recent Dublin Climate Change Action Plan public consultation that recommended promoting community initiatives around local food production.

“The urban farm here in St Anne’s Park responds to that desire in the community.

“This project is all about sustainable living and community development and I hope that this might be a model for similar projects in other areas of the city.”

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