The Tánaiste yesterday turned the sod at the Grow HQ in Waterford city, established by the Grow it Yourself movement and which aims to impact on the lives of over 500,000 people in the coming years.
The Grow HQ is a “self-sustaining social enterprise” and will be used by GIY in its campaign to encourage people to grow their own food at home, school, work and in the community.
The new €1.45 million building, within sight of University Hospital Waterford and close to a retail area beside the city’s outer ring road, is due to open in September 2016 and will include a grow school, cookery school, 60-seat homegrown food café, farm shop and training gardens.
Included in the gardens will be a GIY greenhouse, wild meadow space, native hedgerow and woodland areas for food foraging.
The government anticipates “building up a fairly long-term relationship with Grow and the whole concept of healthy food and healthy eating,” Ms Burton said after ceremonially turning the sod at the Grow site.
“We have problems with people being a bit too heavy and even children becoming far too heavy for their own health. We also have a situation where a lot of food goes to waste and we have been working with a number of organisations to ensure that, where that is happening, any good food is utilised.”