SPRING has finally sprung at Greenlight Gateway in Ballycastle where all the trainees and staff have recently not only said goodbye to the snow but a big hello to Mary and Dermot Hughes from Forage Ireland.
FORAGE is all about how we can live better lives by doing things for ourselves – growing food, foraging for produce and linking into our communities for support. Mary and Dermot want to inspire and enable people to live better lives in tune with nature and the earth.
They offer workshops and other events for anyone or any group that is interested in Foraging, cooking healthy, cheap and local Northern Irish food, concocting wine and other drinks, making jams and chutneys, baking local breads and making the best use of what you might grow yourself or find in the wild.
Forage also met with the wider staff team later in the day and some of the allotment growers at the Garden Centre, as Dermot and Mary shared some of the many wild leaves and flowers (all edible) they had gathered as even more food was baked and shared.
All of this Healthy activity could only happen thanks to the support of the Public Health Agency and funding Greenlight Gateway received through their Health Improvement Grant Scheme.
As Ann McIlroy explained: “This funding scheme has offered us the precious opportunity to further develop our allotments with a new compost area and a really special recycled bottle greenhouse. We have also had some great support and input from Grace McMullan of Moyle District Council who has brought home to us in a very powerful way the need for healthy eating and how to make small changes in our diets and our level of exercise.
“We are delighted to have hosted Mary and Dermot and look forward to many more events and learning how to make their lovely jams and chutneys, and maybe even how to make some gin from berries.”