Team of city slickers gets down and dirty in pursuit of the good life

ARMCHAIR gardeners can get a TV taste of what it’s like to care for their own allotments.

RTÉ One will tomorrow night screen the first of a six-part series at 8.30pm, which focuses on city dwellers in Cork getting down and dirty in two allotments and watching celebrity chef Richard Corrigan cook what they produce.

Corrigan has enlisted 23 volunteers to become self-sufficient and learn how to grow their own produce and rear their own animals. He believes the experiment will spark a revolution in how people produce food, especially during these recessionary times.

Cork City Council has provided two sites in Blackpool and Mahon for the allotments.

In Blackpool the volunteers will concentrate on growing seasonal fruit and vegetables, including strawberries, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and onions.

At the Mahon site the volunteers will focus on rearing animals including pigs, chickens — both layers (for eggs) and broilers (for the dinner plate) — and bees.

The volunteers’ task will be to transform a plot of derelict wasteland into a lush and fertile smallholding. All but four of the volunteers are from Cork and most are city dwellers and living close to the allotments.

Two English, a Scot and an Australian are involved. There are two vegetarians and a Vegan chef.

Most have little or no experience of growing anything, though a few have tried and admit to having failed miserably.

Colm Crowley, director of operations in RTÉ Cork, said: “We are delighted to be involved with Cork City Council and Richard Corrigan on this special venture. We hope this series proves that everyone can learn to provide for themselves and that they have a right to know where their food has come from.”

He said Richard Corrigan is the perfect person to lead the volunteers as his enthusiasm for locally produced food knows no bounds.

“RTÉ Cork prides itself on getting involved with the local community and documenting their triumphs,” Mr Crowley said.


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