14 February 2008

Inaugural Meeting

Open meeting of

Dublin Food Growing - Food Security from the Ground Up

7:30 to 9:30pm, 21st Feb 2008
Venue: Cultivate Center, 15 - 19 Essex St West, Temple Bar, Dublin 8

Please come along if you live in or around Dublin and:
  • are concerned about food security in a time of high energy costs
  • want to reduce the climate impact of our food systems
  • are concerned about rising food prices and economic insecurity
  • have a desire to empower yourself by growing your own food
  • want to campaign for more and better allotments in Dublin
  • are involved in an existing food growing project
  • want to share your food growing experiences with others

This meeting will establish Dublin Food Growing, an organisation dedicated to food security, advocacy, research, policy, networking and education.

We want to enable and encourage people to grow more food, either for themselves or others, in back gardens, community gardens, allotments, schools and institutions, parks, urban infill sites, farmland around Dublin, on balconies and roofs, in window boxes - anywhere that plants will grow!

Currently nobody is taking responsibility for ensuring that Dublin's population has an adequate supply of nutritious food, it's up to us to help build Dublin's food security from the ground up.

The meeting will start with an introduction to various existing food growing and education projects. This will be followed by a discussion about the possibilities for Dublin Food Growing and where best to focus our efforts.

Contact details:
Bruce Darrell 087 227 0359
Morag Friel 087 255 8106


Anonymous said...

live and grow...quality AND security both matter...and just reconnecting us to our soil

Anonymous said...

I've just gotten back from the meeting.
It's about time, and I really hope this kind of thing reaches critical mass, and at last not be ashamed to stand up and say, yes- I recycle,
yes- I worry about tomatoes having no flavour any more. Yes, I worry about the lack of accountability. Yes, I shudder everytime I see fresh tarmac where a green space used to be.
The connotations of fear in the words 'food-security' gave many people pause, and there seemed to be a strong feeling that fear leads to bad design and implementation. Yet for whatever reason, most people there had a strong sense of passion about growing things; wherever it might be food, or communities, or awareness or self empowerment. How they got there or their individual agendas is not as important as the fact that they turned up and that the atmosphere was friendly and productive.
Well done Bruce.

michael said...

hello everybody and thank you for allowing me into the group discussion to witness the progression of urban agriculture in dublin and the thoughts that everyone had on the way to forward this initiative, i spoke last night of my current research into allotments and urban agriculture in Dublin city and right now my focus is on the history of allotments within the city but this part is almost finished but if anyone knows of any sources of infromation on this aspect i would be delighted to hear from you, also i will be carrying out
primary research in april, may and into june hopefully talking to allotment holders and community gardeners and again i would love to hear from you if your interested in participating
thanks very much and hopefully will see you at the next meeting

michael cullen

Morag Friel said...

This morning we woke to RTE's 'Morning Ireland' talking to Greg Barrow, (Public Affairs Officer with the World Food Programme), about the rising food prices that are causing the WFP to appeal for half a billion dollars in extra funding just to do what they had already planned for this year. This doesn't include any extra funding to deal with new groups of people who will require feeding due to the food poverty associated with these rising food prices.

Then Prof Jimmy Burke, Director of the National Crops Research Centre, talked about the background to these worldwide price increases. He cited the growth in world population, the increase in demand from China etc. eating more meat (which requires more grain to produce than the traditional rice/grain diet), climate change and the increased demand for land and grain for producing biofuels.

One very worrying fact he mentioned is that world grain stores are at their lowest level in 30 years. I have been aware of this for a while but it is only now making news. It means that the cushion we have against the above mentioned factors is very thin.

When asked about possible solutions he said that farmers will see grain production as more attractive if the price for it is higher (too bad if you can't afford to pay for that higher priced grain!) He also believes that research and technology will provide the answers. Hmm, now where have I heard that before? Oh yes, the Green Revolution..... And more recently in the claims of the biotech firms trying to foist GM crops onto us. Of course we need properly funded and independent research, but I don't want to be waiting for solutions from on high.

'Dublin Food Growing' is an idea not before its time. We need, as quickly as possible, to increase our levels of food security - which are pretty low at the moment: my guess is that most cities currently have about 2 days supply.

I heard that some people at the inaugural meeting were not easy with the idea of food security and felt it had negative connotations. Whilst I agree that fear is never a good starting point as it can lead to knee jerk reactions and a lack of rational planning, my question is this: do we think 'job security' or 'financial security' are negative terms or concepts that we should avoid? If not then why 'food security'? The oft quoted scouts' motto 'always be prepared' isn't negative either. So let's be prepared, specifically in the area of food knowledge, skills and supply!

I wasn't able to go to the inaugural meeting but I'm really looking forward to being a part of this great initiative.


Pears said...

solstice agthering and celebration;gort co galway.Celebrating community and our new garden space.creating friendhips,strengthing conections,sharing and food,fun.
some accommadation and camping space .
great to see you there.
contact pears @ 091633147 or
take acre for now.