IN SMALL communities like Tournafulla, creativity is always on your doorstep. From home-grown cabbages to water colour paintings, there is no limit to what you can find if you look hard enough.
This Sunday, the quiet West Limerick village is to host a special fair which will not only provide a platform for local artists and producers, but will also demonstrate that you never have to go far to find what you need.
Helen Broderick, organiser of Tournafulla’s first ‘sustainable living’ fair, said that in tough times communities should nurture their talent and ideas.
“For the last twelve years, people had become accustomed to a throw-away society. That needs to change. Our ethos is, if a community is strong and financially secure, the locality and region will get stronger as well. When you’re building a structure, you start from the bottom, not the top.
“The fair will be about letting people know that, even for something as basic as a head of lettuce, they don’t need to go into Tesco or Lidl all the time. We want to get the best of the old ways, and the best of the new ways, and bring them together.”
The fair is due to start at the local GAA pitch at 1pm, and visitors will be able to navigate a small sea of stalls and exhibitions right throughout the afternoon. There will be stalls featuring everything from soaps, jewellery and hair styling to glass work, toys and pottery.
The fair will also sate even the most ferocious of appetites, with producers from across the local community displaying their best fruits, vegetables and other foods, ranging from speciality cupcakes and sun dried tomatoes to award-winning burgers and home baked bread.
Ms Broderick said that putting the fair together opened her eyes to just how much variety is already on offer in the West Limerick community.
“There’s a been a great reaction to the idea. I was surprised. You realise just how much is happening right on your doorstep. I was talking to one woman who makes her own beer, wine and cider. I’ve made my own wines before, and I was talking to her about coming along.
“I asked where she was based, and if she’d have far to travel. It turns out she’s four miles from Tournafulla. Who knew? I had no idea.”
Weather permitting, there will be a ream of outdoor activities and family entertainment available on Sunday, including go karts and a children’s sports day.
A raffle will also be held, with prizes donated by some of the stall holders exhibiting on the day, and all proceeds going to Our Lady’s Hospital for sick children in Crumlin.
Ms Broderick said that she is hoping for as big a turnout as possible, as it will not only help make the fair an annual event, but it will help propagate the message that local is better.
“There’s a residual benefit for the community when people spend a bit of money locally. People need to know that there are other ways of getting a gift, or buying food.
“There’s a ton of stuff available locally. You just need to give people a bit of encouragement.”