Growing trend towards veg and herbs

More people are going green by growing greens, it has emerged.

Growing trend towards veg and herbs

Three out of four people say they grow herbs or vegetables in their gardens and a survey published yesterday also found that mostgardeners hate weeding.

Almost six out of 10 said it was the job they disliked the most.

According to the study by the Bloom gardening festival, half of gardening enthusiasts began gardening as a child or teenager.

It also revealed that a considerable number of gardeners also rely on outside experts for a bit of a dig out. One in three of the 1,100 gardeners surveyed admitted using the services of a garden designer or landscaper.

The Grow it Yourself (GIY) organisation, in prime position at Bloom in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, is urging visitors of all ages to get their hands dirty.

“We want to make food- growing accessible to the masses and support people on their journey to home- grown food heaven,” said GIY founder Michael Kelly.

According to Bord Bia, which organises Bloom, 66% of people would consider growing their own food but half of these do not know where to start.

“There are a lot of people out there that we want to reach out to and support in growing their own food,” said Mr Kelly.

During the festival, GIY wants 10,000 people to experience the joy of sowing a vegetable plant seedling and help break a world record.

“Our big centrepiece this year is a giant seedling mosaic,” said Mr Kelly. We are stopping people as they pass by and urging them to sow a seedling.

“Nearly 100,000 people are expected to visit Bloom over the five days — we want to get around one in 10 of those visitors to sow a seedling with us.

“There are 10,000 seedlings that will fit into that bed and, if we can reach that number of people with the project, hopefully some of them will go home and start growing stuff.”

Around 30,000 people are involved in GIY projects this year, with a further 15,000 loosely called full-time members.

GIY also organised a very successful project for schools earlier this year, called the Sow and Grow Campaign, in which the group distributed seed cups that children could take home. Around 15,000 children participated in the project.

On Monday, GIY is going to attempt to break the world record for the most people sowing seedlings at one time.

The current record is 904 people in Thailand who used rice seedlings in May 2010. GIY will be using lettuce seedlings.

* www.bloominthepark.com

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