Belfast Telegraph

Locals encouraged to grow their own food

by Chris McCann

Following on from the successful ‘Grow Our Own’ courses and workshops in 2010, Groundwork NI has announced two new training sessions to kick start the New Year for people who are keen to grow their own fruit and vegetables at home or to take on an allotment within their local community.

These have been organised due to the unprecedented individual and community interest expressed in Groundwork NI’s Grow Our Own initiatives.

The initial one-day sessions will take place on Saturday January 15 and 29 from 9.30am-4.00pm. They are designed specifically for complete novices and will be hosted at the Groundwork Conference Centre, 63-75 Duncairn Gardens, north Belfast.

Gary McNally, business development manager at Groundwork NI said: “Groundwork NI is keen to give local communities opportunities to develop skills to improve their quality of life. During this course you will learn the basics of growing vegetables at home, in a back yard or a small garden. It is the beginner’s guide for learning to grow your own and a must for anyone who wants to start enjoying the physical and health benefits that growing your own food can offer.”

This hands on workshop is facilitated by Dave Carver from Groundwork NI who has extensive experience of farming and community gardening.

All of the planned workshop sessions will focus on a diverse range of topics covering elements such as site assessment, soil types, compost and plant nutrition, crop selection, controlling pests/disease, tools, digging techniques and composting.

Participants who attend the sessions in January will each receive an in-depth publication entitled ‘A Beginners Guide to Growing Fruit & Vegetables’ plus at the end of the day everyone will take away a planted container containing seeds or seedlings so they can start their very own garden when they return home. A healthy lunch will also be served on site at the Groundwork Conference Centre.

There is a limit of 15 places on each course and the cost is £50 per person. Early booking would be recommended. To reserve a place on the course please go online at www.groundworkni.org.uk and use the “Register Now” button on the website and complete your details, or email Dave Carver, course facilitator at Groundwork NI; davidcarver@groundworkni.co.uk, or phone 02890 749494.

For individuals or community groups in other areas of Northern Ireland, Groundwork NI can accommodate bespoke training requests. Contact Dave Carver to discuss your requirements.

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