I watched with interest a short news article regarding the Grow It Yourself organisation today. It was also mentioned on the BBC NI News website. There are now apparently some 30,000 members throughout Ireland and 100 organised groups. The organisation was established in Waterford in 2009.
I totally agree with the notion that people should grow more of their own food, both from a financial perspective and the therapeutic aspect. Not everyone has the advantage of a large garden, but even a very small patch is sufficient to grow a selection of salad veg with perhaps a few tomatoes and peppers being grown in pots. Many householders however do not have any garden and that is where the allotment is so important .
It is a pity that the number of allotments provided by local authorities and others has declined so much over the last forty/fifty years. The only allotments now provided in the Derry City Council area, of which I am aware, are at St Columbs Park. (There might also be a privately operated area of allotments). I can remember allotments at Lone Moor Road, The City Cemetery, Riverview, Glen Road and Meadowbank Avenue. All of these have disappeared.
Whilst I support and applaud the objectives of the Grow It Yourself organisation it does strike me that the very many horticultural societies throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland must be failing in their purported aims if the gardening wheel has to be reinvented.