Louise O'Connor, who runs Patch Na bPáistí, won the 2020 Get Ireland Growing grand prize worth €5,000 from Energia and GIY.

Louise lands GIY award

Louise is getting kids growing everything from vegetables to trees!

Louise O’Connor runs the not-for-profit Patch Na bPáistí which encourages and teaches children how to grow vegetables, fruit, trees, flowers and seed saving at a weekly Saturday morning workshop which she has been running for the last two years.

During lockdown Louise put her efforts towards gardening care packs working with her community to grow and deliver veg packs to those who were cocooning.

Louise recently emerged from thousands of participants across Ireland to win the 2020 Get Ireland Growing grand prize worth €5,000 from Energia and GIY.

The prize fund and equipment, including a brand new polytunnel from The Polytunnel Company, will now help Louise to create a community garden at her home in a Cobh estate and help to undo the recent damage that her garden suffered during Storm Ellen.

She said that with this backing from Energia Get Ireland Growing she has her eyes set on bigger and better things ahead.

She explained: “We do most of our work from my home garden and the surrounding wooded area by our estate. We started off small but it keeps on growing and I truly do see a great future here with more and more people getting involved. This prize is an amazing chance to do more and a promise to a better 2021 for my community.”

GIY Director and Co-Presenter of RTE’s 'Grow Cook Eat' Karen O’Donohoe said: “We had an incredible range of entries for this prize, but Louise’s story stood out for the entrepreneurial spirit of everything she’s doing. To see someone turning their home into a hub for community food growing is truly inspirational, and we’re delighted to be able to help her realise more of her vision.”

GIY CEO Mick Kelly encouraged all Get Ireland Growing participants, and everyone else who started growing food for the first time during lockdown, to keep up the good work despite the change of season.

 

For further details and to read more about the winner’s story, plus gain some valuable GIY tips, see giy.ie.

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