Meitheal is an Irish word for groups of neighbours coming together to help each other with farming work, such as harvesting crops.
At the end of June we put that into practice in an inner city context, at our old stomping ground, Summerrow community garden in Summerhill, Dublin 1.
Five Summerrow regulars, were joined by ten volunteers recruited via the nearby Dublin Buddhist Centre who mucked in together to get through some big jobs at the garden: from clearing overgrown beds, to hacking back bushes, to painting the shed.
The newbie volunteers also got to hear lots about growing fruit and veg in urban spaces, and were wowed by the grapevine, lemon tree and burgeoning tomato plants in the garden’s impressive polytunnel.
A great day was had, and hopefully a few new gardening volunteers were acquired for Summerrow.
With our own kitchen garden to tend, we’ve become infrequent visitors to community gardens, which is a shame as so many are crying out for volunteers.
We hope at least to organise more of these meitheal days to support them.