GIY’s mission is to encourage people from all walks of life to grow their own food. They get growers together online and in community groups around Ireland so they can learn from each other, exchange tips, ideas and produce.
The way the food chain currently operates in Ireland, has profound implications for our health, community, environment, economy and Irish jobs. Supermarket shelves are filled with imports of highly-processed, unseasonal produce. The current generation is probably the first in human history that is almost entirely incapable of producing its own food. The vast majority of us are completely reliant on a commercial food system to supply us with the very thing that keeps us alive. The things that we cherish about food – its ability to nourish us and make us healthy; its variety, vibrancy, flavour and taste – have been sacrificed in favour of profit, yield, shelf-life, uniformity and continuity of supply. We import over €5 billion worth of food into Ireland every year – an estimated €3 billion of which we could grow or rear ourselves.
Michael Kelly is on a mission to empower people from all walks of life and of all ages to grow their own food successfully. He set up GIY Ireland in 2009, to transform the nation's wellbeing, strengthen communities and protect the environment by helping people to grow their own. Michael gets growers together online and in community groups around Ireland so that they can learn from each other and exchange tips, ideas and produce. GIY Ireland aims to set up a group in every town in Ireland.
There are now approximately 12,000 ‘GIYers’ around the country who are coming together in community groups and online to learn, share and grow. Michael believes that systemic change in the food chain begins with the personal decision to sow a seed – if GIY Ireland can encourage enough people to grow their own vegetables and increase demand for local produce, they can transform the food chain and bring some common sense back into our relationship with food.
Our whole family is eating healthier now – because the kids are involved in growing the vegetables, they don’t seem to mind eating them as much.
Showing off their home grown vegetables
An example of home grown produce
Getting the vegetable patch ready for this years produce