recorded by Kaethe Burt-O’Dea (email: kaethe [at] desireland.ie)
(our vision of a future Dublin if Dublin Food Growing is highly successful)
- All Dublin’s food (fruit and vegetables) will be grown locally by 20XX: Dublin will feed it’s own population, achieving food security comparable to Havana in 2007.
- Community: civil capacity building: The social and physical and economic aspects of community life will be nurtured and enhanced by the food system.
- No organic matter leaves Dublin: Fertile waste stream and water is captured and used in a closed loop system (including greywater, run off, and sewage).
- No space wasted: Every empty space is cultivated to become a productive edible landscape.
- Dublin Food Growing operates at all scales: From window boxes to allotments to commercial.
- Anyone who wants to grow food can: Space and resources will be available and easily accessible to all.
- Dublin diet equitable: The food system does not deprive other people of food and resources necessary to feed themselves
- Dublin Food Growing will become a driver in the International arena
STRANDS - WORKING MODELS
- Proven Business Case: Health advantages (exercise, nutrition, psychological) social benefits (less crime, vandalism, etc.), promotes environmental restoration and biodiversity
- Positive Cultural Strategy: Inclusive activity, encourages cross cultural and cross generational exchange
- Professional skills
- Examples: existing gardens
- Collective growing skills and experience: knowledge of horticulture, restoring natural habitats, seed breeding (selection)
- Enthusiasm and labor
- Time constraints: trying to do too much, limited available time
- Tendency to work in isolation
- Insurance: health and safety
STRANDS - POLICY
- International Precedent: Havana, Toronto, Newcastle, Birmingham
- Time is right: wave of interest in Food and sustainability
- Health research: Supporting research in mental health – therapeutic horticulture, nutrition.
- Good relationship with Dublin City Council
- Existing local and National Political Support: Green Party, DCC, etc.
- Up Against the wall
- Potential space: 25% of Dublin’s available land are back gardens, many abandoned and neglected sites.
- Resistance-opposition from vested interests: business, developers
- Lack of policy support (clout): official recognition, funding
- Irish culture of conservatism and apathy
STRANDS - EDUCATION & RESEARCH
- Knowledge of broader energy/environmental issues: contacts in this field
- Knowledge of setting up organizations
- Teaching skills
- Cooking knowledge: all levels
- Lack of (community) Awareness: opposition, limited ‘big picture’ view, lack of volunteers
- Lack of access to local sites
- Convenience culture
- Loss of horticultural knowledge/skills: in this generation
STRANDS - MEDIA AND OUTREACH
- Overlap with all previous strands
- Lack of connections: Deficient links between groups and links with local talent.
- Many interested individuals-organizations are not part of the group (yet!).
- Not cool: associated with poverty
- Garden Visits: Work/Party/Learning days at each existing garden (similar to WOOFing) listed on a Calendar of events *This year! Pat Harrington’s School. Sitric Community Composting Garden, South Circular Garden
- Increase availability of public park allotments (including new parks)
- Public plantings: Promote productive use by encouraging food cultivation in public spaces in your area.
- Aim high: (eg.100 allotment sites and 200 community gardens)
- Register all existing community gardens as community associations.
- Keep it FUN!
- Argue for establishing community gardens at every public amenity: school, library, park, hospital, retirement home.
- Support Allotment Campaign: letters, lobbying, documenting potential sites and interest
- Develop Group Structure: become an officially recognized association, foundation, or…?
- Lobby and Influence Dublin City Development Plan * Erik Van Lennep has offered to act as a hub for contact with Dublin City Council communication.
- Identify and Map Potential Sites: Google earth and community mapping research, make lists of potential food growing sites per area. * Willie Morrogh of Dublin City Council will act as a channel for this information
- Ongoing active research program: conduct research into the best species, soils, techniques, strategies to support every Dubliner interested in food growing
- World Class Resource Centre: Education at all levels
- Resource Exchange Service: Freecycle for food cultivation offering easily accessible information, experience, materials, ideas, techniques, labor
- Build website as active hub *Volunteers: Kaethe Burt-O’Dea, Sean Shanagher Bruce Darrell, David Logan
- Become a community
- Establish a regular media presence: Integrate promotion and outreach strategies into all activities in as many ways possible
- Become a recognized source for information on food issues for the media