THE Skibbereen Community Orchard’s volunteers have been busy since September last, maintaining the garden off Market St, on the Gortnaclohy Road.
The Garden of Eden project, organised by Skibbereen’s Grow It Yourself (GIY) group, consists of nine apple trees, one plum tree and five cob nut trees.
Some trees are underplanted with strawberries, which also cropped well in June for local children to pick and enjoy. The orchard is chemical-free, and locally-grown produce cuts down on food miles and consumption of preservatives.
The blackcurrants and peas, as well as salad leaves were the most successful crops this year.
Recently volunteers prepared new planting beds for this year’s series of visits, for a garden walk, including a biodiversity quiz, and new plants for winter crops.
Primary school children and their teachers visit the garden each September during the Taste of West Cork Food Festival.
The Gaelscoil team of gardeners, with their teachers and GIY members, came once a month during the 2014-2015 school term to maintain the garden.
Their enthusiasm, excitement and knowledge was extraordinary and they loved their hour off traditional school. This year the organisers are inviting another school, as well as the Gaelscoil class, to visit monthly in the GIY group and follow up on the new planting which will be done during the Food Fair.If you wish to donate plants of rocket, beetroot, spring cabbage, leeks, kale or other winter salads, ring Marian on 087 9972899 to arrange for delivery. They will be planted by the children.
The garden is open to all daily to harvest herbs, salads and more.
All volunteers are welcome on Saturdays at 2pm and on Wednesdays at 7:30pm or drop in when you notice some one at work, for a chat, or to lend a hand.