For the second year running we attended the Seed Swap Sunday at Knockvicar. The first time I think I was so tired by the journey that I didn't take in the importance of what this community is doing. The gardens are in a field near the very small village of Knockvicar in Co. Roscommon. Here a group of people grow food for them selves and the wider community in ten polytunnels as well as outdoors. They also take care of the commuity hall which is an old school, testament to a larger population in the past. They also run courses in all sorts of sustainable activities like gardening, soap making and poultry keeping and once a month they have a meal in the hall together. Its a pretty international group with Irish British French and Hungarian members so the dinners look really interesting. On Saturdays they have a market from 11 to 3 which features Maison Djerbi Bakery and Patisserie. Mari-Aymone of Maison Djerbi provided delicious food for the seed swap. Other delicious items were provided by Bridget of Arigna Natural Gardens. There was no sign of a recession at Knockvicar as lots of seeds were bought by them. I hope they learnt enough from the seed workshops to be confident about growing their own in future, but all the same it would be nice to visit again. The community there is a great model for sustainable rural life.
We had a request for catalogues during the week from Pierce O'Reilly of Mayo Abbey Organic centre, so we decided to hand deliver them on the way home. We arrived into the lunch break of a FETAC organic horticulture course. It was a lively group who took us in and fed us tea and biscuits as well as buying seeds. The project is run by the community council and its goal as a rural community organic centre is to empower people with the knowledge to be self sufficient. It is another great example of how well organised communities make things happen.
Now its time to start sowing the seeds of next years seeds here.