The launch of IT Sligo’s Community Food Project (CFP) took place on March 10 with the weather providing a bright, sunny evening for the turning of the first sod. The Community Food Project is being co-ordinated by Ruth Hegarty as part of her final year project for her BSc. Hons. Degree in Environmental Science. The project is run by IT Sligo’s Environmental Society, the Organic Centre and the HSE North West.
The garden was officially launched by Dr. Prannie Rhatigan, Senior Medical Officer, at the HSE. Coming straight from her own garden to the event, she praised all concerned who had brought the project to this stage. She also stated that she was looking forward to sampling the fruits of participants labour, particularly after the cooking tuition they will receive during the project.
Prior to turning the first sod, Professor Terri Scott, President IT Sligo, complimented the students on taking the initiative on this project, supported by staff. Working together, they had created a space not only of benefit to IT Sligo students and staff, but to the wider community in Sligo.
Hans Wieland, Joint Manager at the Organic Centre, said he was delighted to be involved in the project. IT Sligo is the first college in the third level in Ireland sector to have a Community Food Project and Wieland noted the importance of younger people learning to ’grow their own’. He called it ‘pioneering work for the future’ showing how a community garden can contribute to an individual’s education at primary, secondary and third level.
The Garden, located on campus, provides an opportunity for students and staff to learn the necessary skills to grow their own fruit and vegetables. For just two hours a week, under the watchful eyes of Ingrid Foley, CFP Gardener and Craig Sands, CFP Coordinator, participants will learn all the skills necessary to plant and grow their own food. The project runs from the first week of March until October. On completion of the project, participants will enjoy a Harvest feast and a Certificate presentation at the Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim.
Patrick McLoughlin (l) and Ruth Hegarty joint managers of the IT Sligo Community Garden with head Gardner, Ingrid Foley, Community Food Project
Ruth Hegarty Environmental Science Student, IT Sligo (l), Professor Terri Scott, President IT Sligo and Dr. Prannie Rhatigan, Senior Medical Officer, at the HSE turning the first sod at the IT Sligo Community Garden.
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