Garden of Eden Projects
What comes to mind when you picture the Garden of Eden? Fruit trees of all sorts, nut trees, lush green leafy growth, a bounty of all manner of growing food and of natural abundance. With a Garden of Eden Project, that is exactly what our communities can create in our community green areas, schools, church grounds, and parks.
A quick look around at the environmental challenges we all face are conformation that the first tenants have filled the Earth and multiplied too much, and behaved a bit too carelessly, for safety's sake. Taking in the scale of the global environmental situation can be overwhelming and yet many of us feel compelled to do something constructive to address the challenge.
The Garden of Eden Project is one way to help your community to take local action towards local and global environmental improvement. One tangible way to address climate change is to plant trees. One way to raise awareness of peak oil is to grow food in the community, since much of our current production is heavily reliant on oil for machinery, biocides, fertilisers and transportation.
What better place to start our own neighbourhood green areas, church grounds and parks. Imagine trees of fruit, nuts and berries filled with food each year, soaking up carbon for growth and providing a bountiful community-centred focus in neighbourhoods that we grow and develop together.
So, how do you go about starting a Garden of Eden Project? First, discuss it with the relevant people involved in deciding about grounds maintenance and management. Then decide on the scale of planting you want to do. A mini Garden of Eden could be as small as two or three hazelnut trees inter-planted with current bushes. If you have more space add in pear trees, walnuts, cherries, plumbs, sweet chestnuts or even a native apple variety from the Irish Seed Savers Association.
Donít worry about the length of time taken to fruiting and maturing. The trees will be acting as carbon sinks from the word go. Having chosen the trees you want, set about buying them and planting them. Both of these events can have an awareness raising element for the community.
Publicise the planting and invite everyone to come along. Children particularly love tree planting and have a great sense of achievement afterwards. (They then help eagerly with watering and weeding in that crucial first summer after planting!)
The final step isnít a final step at all Ė it goes on year after year. This is the annual gathering for picking, picnicking, pickling, jamming, tarting, stewing and baking. A celebration of the sacred bounty of your own community's Garden of Eden.
Garden of Eden Projects Ireland was set up by Féidhlim Harty in 2007 as a small step in the right direction. Funding has been generously provided by the Local Authorities and the Department of the Environment under the Local Agenda 21 programme and by private donations.