County Limerick pupils in clover thanks to their new allotment

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

County Limerick pupils in clover thanks to their new allotment

The pupils of Cloverfield NS are reaping what they sow in their new allotment

WITH a name like Cloverfield National School, its pupils were bound to have green fingers.

In recent months, up to 25 school children along with their parents could be seen working and enjoying their time in the Kilteely garden allotments.

Cloverfield NS’s involvement was the brainchild of Michael English, chairman of the Kilteely-Dromkeen social housing committee. The parents association took-up the challenge and with the children, rolled up their sleeves and commenced digging their plot in April 2019.

The Kilteely garden allotment site was purchased by the Kilteely-Dromkeen social housing committee in 2007 to encourage local people to grow their own vegetables. The site is located in the heart of Kilteely village and thanks to funding from Ballyhoura, it was developed into eleven garden plots, a greenhouse and picnic area.

Mr English said: “This year we are delighted that Cloverfield NS took one of the plots. It was great to see the children digging and preparing the ground. A special word of thanks to GIY for funding the purchase of plants and seeds. We felt very proud of all the children and to see them giving their time to grow their own vegetables”.

With some help and encouragement from parents and other allotment regulars, the plot was transformed from an overgrown grassy area to fresh brown soil ready for planting. The school children took to the project with great enthusiasm and vigour from the off and they planted a wide variety of vegetables, edible flowers and strawberries.

They tended to the plot weekly and continued planting, weeding and gleefully watched the progression of their efforts. A daily watering rota was established. Also, a raised bed was created to enable everyone to participate in some hard work and fun with their schoolmates.

It was not long before the children’s work was rewarded. Plenty of delicious organic fresh vegetables straight from the ground continue to be enjoyed by themselves and their families, and they proudly shared some produce with their proud principal Noreen O’Dea and teachers on their return to school. Some of their produce was even sold at the Sunday market during the Kilteely-Dromkeen Festival in July.

The boys and girls are already asking “When do we start next year?”.