Grow it Yourself food education centre planned for Waterford
GIY founder believes centre can create positive legacy by teaching children where food comes from
23/05/2010 - MAGAZINE - Grow it Yourself founder Michael Kelly (centre) and team set up a garden at the summer Bloom festival in the of Grow It Yourself, with the garden design in the early stage for Bloom, which will take place in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has launched plans for a national food education centre in Waterford city.
The centre is the initiative of the Grow it Yourself (GIY) organisation which encourages people in urban and rural areas to grow their own food.
Its founder, Michael Kelly, said the centre would be on a three-acre site at Ardkeen provided by Waterford City Council. It would include training areas for growing and cooking, as well as a food garden, cafe and shop.
Construction is expected to begin next year and Mr Kelly said he hoped it would be ready to open in the spring of 2015.
He said he believed the centre would create a positive health legacy for generations of people by teaching children where their food comes from.
The centre aims to attract more than 250,000 visitors over a five-year period.
GIY, a not-for-profit venture, is now fundraising for the project, which will cost about €750,000. Bord Bia is backing the project and it has also received funds from the Arthur Guinness Projects, so it has raised some €100,000 to date.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was very happy to support the centre. Highlighting the cost to the economy of smoking, drinking and ill-health, he said the savings to taxpayers would be “absolutely phenomenal” if people could be educated to eat healthily and exercise more.