Priest gets parishioners to grow-their-own
A County Carlow priest has launched an imaginative initiative to get his parishioners to grow their own vegetables.
Fr James Gahan, who is parish priest in Clonmore, has carved part of a field adjacent to the church in Ballyconnell into small plots which will be allocated to local people as ‘allotments’.
Fr. Gahan, who is himself a noted gardener, said he came up with the idea of helping people to cope with the recession by having their own plots to grow food.
“We knew about the downturn and wanted to do something about it,” he explained.
“'With the economy the way it is, who wouldn't want to grow their own vegetables?' Fr. Gahan asked.
The green-fingered PP has long tilled his own vegetable patch in the garden of his parochial house and said he decided the practice should be promoted to his parishioners.
As well as vegetables, Fr Gahan is an accomplished grower of roses, some of which he has sold from time to time to boost the parish’s coffers.
The plots now being allocated to his neighbours will, he said, be very adequate and very affordable.
The rent for the use of an allotment for the growing season - from March to December - will be a mere €25.
This, Fr Gahan claimed, was a fraction of what is charged by county councils for allotment plots they lease.
He pledged that each plot would be 60 ft by 20ft, which would give people who rent them plenty of space to grow a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.