This is Meghan Buckley’s bright idea for Cork.

A community vegetable garden grown by Macroom Food Festival and the CDYS "Good Lives Project".

HOW WE WILL SPEND THE MONEY

Macroom Food Festival in conjunction with the Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services “Good Lives Project” aim to create a community vegetable garden that will bring the young people of Macroom together.

Here they will grow fresh produce and educate themselves and others on the methods and benefits of growing your own vegetables.

This will bring the community together in a really positive way with the focus of providing food for the Macroom Massive Munch event of Macroom Food Festival in September 2017.

Macroom Food Festival has been a success since it began in 2013 but yet we still want to expand our reach beyond the immediate community and aim to get as many people as possible involved.

The Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services is a voluntary and not for profit organisation that works with young people in the Dioceses of Cloyne since 1962, the CDYS aim to empower young people through youth services.

The vegetable garden would create an outlet for young adults to expand their knowledge, create friendships and grow produce that they can be proud of.

The Macroom Food Festival team will plan & coordinate the setup of the vegetable garden including the ordering of supplies, coordination with the CDYS team & the organisation of an event to celebrate the achievement of the garden in The Macroom Food Festival 2017.

The young people involved in the “Good Lives Project” will create the garden by working the land, building raised beds & poly-tunnels on ground which will be rented by the CDYS in spring of 2017. The students will tend to the garden over the summer months to grow produce in time for the festival 2017.

Macroom is a thriving market town which depends on these kinds of community projects to enhance the local area. Community spirit is strong within the town but often only includes well know organisations.

This project will draw individuals from all aspects of the town together. With growing a product such as vegetables from seed to substance comes pride, a sense of achievement and encouragement for future projects.

The younger generation of a town is often overlooked: this can lead to antisocial behaviour when there is a lack of facilities or activities. A project like this would provide an outlet and focus for these individuals, while also learning a new skill.

The CDYS can provide the horticultural expertise and training necessary to ensure the success of the project, the crops and the continued maintenance of the plot.

The upgrading of the CDYS facilities to provide this training creates an opportunity for the garden to become a permanent fixture within Macroom and the resulting harvest to take pride of place annually at Macroom Food Festival.