A taste for growing his own …

Michael Kelly, joins us at the Show on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May to share his passion for growing yourself what you put on the table. Michael is the founder of GIY (Grow It Yourself) Ireland which he set up in 2008 in Waterford. Inspiration hit Michael while food shopping when he realised how far some produce had traveled to arrive on the supermarket aisles where it was being sold as “fresh”. He had 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.

To start with, Michael grew some garlic at home – by his own admission, badly. To remedy his 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 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.

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