Ballina Karen Community Green Garden Lughnasa Harvest Festival Day – Saturday, August 19
Saturday, August 19
Karen Community Garden, St Muredach’s College
The volunteers of Ballina Karen Community Green Garden will host a Lughnasa Harvest Festival Day on Saturday, August 19 in Ballina from 11am to 2pm, and you’re all invited!
Pop into the Garden (in the grounds of St Muredach’s College) and enjoy:
– Horticultural tours of the garden
– Photography demo with award-winning photographer David Farrell
– Floristry demo with Marie Brogan using flowers from the garden
– Polytunnel management talk with members of the Karen Community who will also share horticultural knowledge of their own
Botanical sketching / art demo with artist Anne Marie Clarke
Cookery demo with Mary Lowry using garden produce
Info on herbal remedies, organic fertiliser, propagation of plants and the garden’s new Hare’s Corner initiative
There will be tea, coffee and sweet treats available!
Admission is FREE and everyone is welcome.
PLEASE NOTE THAT PARKING IS LIMITED. Patrons are advised to park in the town centre and attend the event on foot where possible.
This event is supported by the Ballina 2023 Community Events Fund.
With thanks to Ballina Chamber of Commerce also for their support.
About the Garden
The Ballina Karen Community Green Garden in Ballina is located adjacent to St Muredach’s College on the Sligo Road, occupying approximately half an acre. It is a joint horticultural project initially established between local gardening enthusiasts and the Karen community who voluntarily give their free time to gardening in this lovely tranquil setting.
The garden is divided into different areas, including a vegetable garden, a herb garden, a fruit garden, an orchard, a polytunnel, and a bee friendly flower garden. It is also home to an insect hotel, a cob oven and nesting boxes.
The Karen community is comprised of eight families from Myanmar (Burma) who were resettled in Ballina 2007. They very much became part of the community, and Bishop John Fleming leased part of his orchard and vegetable garden to the community so that they would be able to have a place to grow their own food. The garden is quickly becoming a model for community gardens everywhere.
In 2014 the garden was awarded first prize in all Ireland in the National Tidy Towns Competition under the category ‘Sustainable Development’. The garden was also awarded An Taisce’s Green Flag Community Award in 2019 and has retained this award ever since. The garden does not stand still and each year strives to continuously improve and develop.
Along with volunteers from Burma/Myanmar, the garden has volunteers from Ukraine and Australia. Service users from Western Care Association and Praxis also volunteer. It also has established partnerships with local schools by arranging educational horticultural tours for the teachers and pupils.
The Ballina Karen Community Green Garden is continually welcoming new volunteers from all over the world and from many organisations within Mayo and also facilitates educational horticultural tours to local schools on request. The community garden is very socially inclusive and you can visit the garden on either Tuesdays or Fridays between 11am and 12.30pm where volunteers will happily give you a guided tour .
New volunteers are always welcome and can give it a try for a few weeks if they wish. After horticultural volunteering sessions, there are refreshments and often homemade treats and a chat!
About the Speakers
Ballina native David Farrell has spent over 40 years working in press and sports photography in Mayo, mostly for the Western People, before moving into freelance work in 2009. Throughout his career in photojournalism, David has covered many local, national and international stories. In recent years, he has concentrated solely on sports photography, supplying images to newspapers and sports agencies nationwide.
David is a grateful member of Ballina Karen Community Green Garden, where he thoroughly enjoys the camaraderie, fun and friendship of the dedicated volunteer group.
Anne-Marie Clarke is a West of Ireland Print Maker and Oil Painter inspired by landscape, sustainability and relationships, resulting in figurative and abstract representation.
She is a retired Art Teacher and currently works as a Tour Guide at the National Gallery of Art, Dublin and holds a Doctorate of Education, and her research embraces Digital Storytelling.
Anne-Marie is looking forward to inspiring attendees at Saturday’s event to capture the beauty of the Karen Community Green Garden.
Mary is a Home Economics teacher and teaches cookery classes in association with St VIncent De Paul, where she volunteers.
Mary will use fresh vegetable produce from the garden at her cookery demonstration on Saturday!
Marie Brogan is a well-known local florist (Flowers by Marie Brogan).
Marie will show attendees how to create a beautiful floral arrangement using a variety of fresh flowers grown in the garden.