Community taking root as Broadmeadow garden grows
THE GREEN fingers of Broadmeadow Community gardeners came to fruition when the Community Garden was officially opened last weekend by Mayor of Fingal, Kieran Dennison.
For the past three years the garden, a 'conventional plot rather than an allotment,' has grown with the help of its members tending to the plants, shrubs and fruit trees.
According to Vice-Chairman of the Broadmeadow Community Garden, Patrick O'Keeffe, the concept of the project was 'to bring the community together and promote the community around growing.'
Fingal County Council gave the members the land to use, B&Q sponsored them from the beginning and, back in 2011, they received funding from the council's Integration Funding Scheme.
The garden, which is approximately 30 metres by 50 metres, with 32 five by one metre plots with a central piece containing herbs and vegetables, along with fruit trees, is located in the middle of Broadmeadow Park, near Thornleigh, Aston Brooke and Applewood estates.
'This is our third year of the garden and it's coming along really well with plants growing fast,' said Patrick.
'During the first year we did a lot of building work, making the raised beds and planting trees and the hedge while the second year we finished off the hedge work and community beds,' he explained. 'The hedge is flourishing now and the fruit trees have given us apples and cherries and the herb bed is coming along great.'
He said everyone involved in the garden give their time free of charge and have built up new friendships through the work at the garden.
'People are coming together and getting to know new people which is the concept behind the garden – to promote the community around growing. The young children are helping with the watering of plants and digging which is great to see.'
A number of events have taken place at the garden including an easter egg hunt for youngsters.
He said the main agenda was to have a garden using the natural environment to fit into the surrounding park area.
'The garden isn't quite finished yet and there is still a bit more work to do but everyone involved has enjoyed every minute of working on it,' added Patrick.
He said if more people are interested in becoming members and helping to maintain the garden, there is a possibility of extending it.
'Members pay €20 a year to go towards the maintenance of the garden and they do work on it themselves maintaining their plots and the general area,' said Patrick. 'We are extremely happy with the facility and have enjoyed the plants growing and growing over time.'