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'We lived off food from the allotment for a whole summer'

Claire O'Brien planted her first pea on her son's first birthday. "It was some me-time after I went back to work," she explains. She didn't expect her interest to grow too...

Claire's children, now aged nine and six, both help in her allotment in Dublin's city suburb of Crumlin.

"They might complain about going, but they love it there. They pick and bring home the veg and we cook it. My son's favourite dinner is kale pesto."

Claire grows onions, potatoes, greens, corn, beets and berries. "The rent is €200 p.a. for 80sqm. It's hard work, and weather-dependent, but a great cheap hobby. We lived for one summer completely off the allotment. We went veggie. You couldn't do it year round, though," she adds.

Claire works in a youth centre and school garden. "It's fantastic watching the kids getting excited about things growing, finding out a potato grows underground or a strawberry above. They just love it."

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