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July 15, 2009

Community garden open house Sat., July 18

NEWBRIDGE – County Kildare residents are invited to the official opening of Newbridge’s new community garden, Bia Linn (“Our Food”), from 12 pm to 2 pm Saturday, July 18. The event is hosted by the local community group FADA, which organised and built the garden – which lies behind the Town Hall on the Main Street of Newbridge -- this spring.

The event will feature several speakers and activities. Lucy Bell will demonstrate how to make a wormery to transform kitchen waste into high-quality soil. Members of FADA will also speak at the event: Ellen Quaid about composting waste, Kate Park about how to use various kinds of edible flowers in cooking, and Brian Kaller on the long-tem gardening technique of permaculture. FADA member Maureen O’Connor will speak about the Fair Trade movement, which organises international trade of products grown and made for humane wages in the Third World.

Children will also have the opportunity to take part in a treasure hunt, and FADA members will give away runner bean seedlings and information.

FADA is a local network of people trying to build self-reliance and community spirit in the local area. FADA members have hosted many festivals and talks in the County Kildare area, offered classes in gardening, permaculture and cooking, and organised programmes for area students. The organisation lobbied local governments to gain a food garden in the area, and received the keys to the space in May. Since then, volunteers have built garden beds, tool sheds, a carved sign and a compost bin.

Area residents who would like to contribute to the garden are welcome to donate tools, watering cans, yard brushes, signs, maintenance equipment, paint and brushes, bin tags and seeds.

FADA would like to see more gardens and fields turned into allotments in the coming months. If you have land you want to see used, can recommend public lots for use or want to volunteer at the garden, contact FADA vice-chair Brian Kaller at 087-299-4552 or by e-mail at, or call FADA member Ciara Bennett at 087-823-9558