OVER the past two years Lisnaskea-based victims group South East Fermanagh Foundation have been busy developing a Community Allotments site which now houses 31 allotment plots.
SEFF’s Director of Services Kenny Donaldson explains: “A sign has been erected, the wording of which (The Community Growing Together) depicts the ethos of our organisation and what particularly, we seek to achieve through the Allotments Project. There are three Polytunnels, a double compost plot, a purpose built wooden tool shed with a wide selection of tools, Rotivator, picnic table and garden bench on site to facilitate the needs of allotment holders.”
“In recent weeks, significant drainage work has also taken place at the site for the purpose of enhancing the opportunities for plot holders to gather the very best crops/volumes and quality of produce.”
“Growing your own fresh produce has tangible economic, social and health-based therapeutic benefits. People take a great pride in being able to produce something for themselves and there is always healthy competition between allotment holders as to who can keep their allotment in the best condition and also producing the best quality and volume of produce.”
“Allotments also provide a unique opportunity for families and friends to come together socially and in an age of convenience foods, we are especially keen to see young people being introduced to the art of growing fresh produce, which was a common and necessary way of life for their forebears.”
“Already allotment holders are reaping the rewards of their efforts. Cabbages, potatoes, broccoli, beetroot, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, pumpkins, peppers, corn on the cob, celery, scallions/spring onion, strawberries, tomatoes, peas, broad beans, herbs etc are amongst the vegetables/fruits being grown on the allotment plots and within the onsite polytunnels.”
“We are currently allocating plots for the period covering; 01/02/13 - 31/03/14 and we do have a number of vacant plots still to allocate. We would encourage the local community to come forward and take up these plots. The cost of having the use of a plot per annum is £30 with a reduction should you wish to take 2 plots - the cost will then be £25 per plot.”
“Those who hold plots are then offered opportunities such as attending training programmes which are designed to bring the very best produce dividend. The fact that we also have a designated Coordinator for the site also means that there is always someone on call to advise and to guide those new people who take up plots.”
Mr Donaldson continued: “In recent months we have also developed partnerships with Community Gardens based in County Cavan and there will be opportunities in the weeks and months ahead for a sharing of good practice between those operating at the various sites, we also hope to explore the histories of various fruit and vegetables.”
“Anyone wanting further information should contact the SEFF Office asap on: 028 677 23884 or 028 677 22242.”
SEFF’s Community Allotments Project has received funding via; The Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Awards For All Scheme,’ Fermanagh District Council and Lloyds TSB Foundation N.I.