A taste for growing his own

We are really excited to be welcoming Michael Kelly, founder of Grow It Yourself Ireland, to the Allianz Garden Show Ireland. Michael will be giving talks on both Saturday and Sunday on the Top 5 Veg you absolutely have to grow yourself.

Michael has a remarkable story, he was an IT guy living and working in Dublin. He was out food shopping one day when inspiration struck, he realised how far some produce had travelled to arrive on the supermarket aisles where it was being sold as “fresh”.  This was his light bulb moment.

To start with, Michael grew some garlic at home. Badly. To remedy his woeful lack of knowledge he searched for a local food growing group but could unearth only plant and flower groups. Not interested in growing anything he couldn’t eat he decided to establish his own group for dedicated food growers – and so, the idea of GIY was born.

From there the idea spread virally, planting a network of community food growing groups, with a central organisation supporting them all with campaigns, resources and events From these humble beginnings, this year GIY will support over 150,000 growers and 5,000 community food groups and projects across Ireland, the UK and beyond.

Michael has now written three books on food and self-sufficiency – his latest book GROW COOK EAT (2014) was a winner in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  Michael is an Ashoka Fellow, a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland awardee and a recipient of the inaugural 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund. He is a member of the TASTE Council of Ireland. He has written columns on food and health for The Irish Times, The Irish Independent and Food & Wine Magazine. Michael is a passionate speaker on food issues, self-sufficiency, sustainability and growing your own food. He worked for ten years in the IT industry in Dublin but now lives the good life in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford with his wife and two little GIYers.

In this National Gardening Week we asked Michael what his garden means to him;

“It’s a place where I can slow down and just Be.  I always feel less stressed and more mindful after spending time in the veg patch.  It’s a place where I reconnect with my food and really understand it, a place where I can get in touch with the seasons and with the living soil.”

Michael talks to Carolyn Stewart from U105 about his role at the Show:

To hear Michael talk at the Allianz Garden Show Ireland please purchase your tickets for the Saturday or Sunday. Check out the timings for his talks and others.

Book your tickets here to avail of a special online saving.

Latest News