Friday, 17 June 2016

Street Feast in the Garden, June 2016

Street Feast 2016 an Gairdín Beo, Old Dublin St, Carlow

Image: John McHugh
The Street Feast is Ireland’s annual day of street parties and community lunches. The Centenary Street Feast 2016 was supported by Ireland 2016, An Post, Facebook, and the Local Authorities and the following shares a little bit about the idea and how we celebrated it in our community garden in the heart of Carlow town. You can also find a recipe at the end that will help us create a wonderful garden.

Image John McHugh
Partners this year were, Scouting Ireland, Irish Men’s Sheds Association, GIY Ireland & Volunteer Ireland while also receiving support from the Irish Countrywoman’s Association and the Tidy Towns Association.

Street Feast started out as a team of national volunteers in 2010 who were passionate about community reducing isolation, environmental impact, and boosting community resilience with the result being, what better way to bring community together than through food?!

Because An Gairdín Beo is in its second year of research, design and development it seemed fitting that the Street Feast 2016 was the perfect way to integrate the local and wider community to discover their community garden.

Image: John McHugh
Following the ChangeX guidelines we embarked on the task of organising the Feast but really it proved an easy project as what we discovered along the way showed that people were happy to be a part of something tangible.

Image: Eilish Langton
The pot luck lunch request brought such an array of different foods from different multi cultural backgrounds that the party was spoiled for choice.

From banana & walnut loaf , couscous, pasta salad, pulled pork, spring onion and tossed salad to elderflower cordial (a product of the garden), rhubarb and apple pies, and pastry delights, it was truly an amazing feast.

With little or no resources, participant really dug deep and brought what they could and wanted to share.

Image: Eilish Langton
Drone displays took place documenting the day… football, flubber madness, face painting, garden recipes with a twist, feasting, raided beds tours, photo booth…photographers, artists visits, newspaper reporters, and visitors all interacted to make the event a great success.

The event was topped off at the end with a walking tour to visit a site specific art installation exhibition down by the river Barrow by artist group Crocosmia. This exhibition continues during the current Carlow Arts Festival.

What was evident on the day showed that community gardens have the capacity to become a platform for engagement, and An Gairdín Beo in Carlow is leading the way for alternative spaces to engage, learn, communicate and share, something that many communities in urban areas lack these days.

Image: Eilish Langton
Lots of really creative and interesting ideas came about on the day as to what other events and programmes could be implemented in the future in the garden so watch this space.

Eilish Langton


Recipe for a Wonderful Garden

Our Magical Garden survives on lots of wonderful ingredients; one that is hugely important is P.E.A.T.

Let us tell you about our P.E.A.T  Without boring you too much or interrupting your lovely lunch.

It is composed of four important ingredients and you all should know about them:

P. Participation
E. Engagement
A. Action
T. ????????

Gairdin Beo Receipe
Step 1.

Gather as many Participants as possible and place in a pot together.

Mix slowly and gradually with plenty glugs of listening, keep on a low heat as all participants are rooted and over-ground vegetables and nature has given them seasons and time to grow.

Continue to keep under a low but strong heat, they need time to soften, but be careful at this stage not to burn, this is the primary ingredient

Step 2.

When the particpants are at a comfortable temperature add lots of the delightful and robust vegetable Engagement. This will draw new flavours from the Participants and when both dance together in the pan the space will be filled with exciting and unpredictable aromas.

Give this magical fusion some time to blend and just when they are both starting to change texture take off the heat and let rest for a few minutes, but no longer otherwise they will start to wilt.

Step 3.

It is now time to add Action :  these are bunches and bunches of the wonderful herbs :Planning, Vision and Imagination. These three herbs are great buddies and like to hang out together. They like to be added gradually though so don’t over-do it. They will definitely mix well with the sautéed Participants and Engagements. Stir all ingredients together at this point, add a pinch of innovation and lashings of support and this meal could be Amazing and can bring us to the ‘T’ of our PEAT.

How this dish turns out is up to YOU.  You need decide what will be the ‘T’ in our P.E.A.T

You can start by being a  P.E.A. in our Pod.

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Image: John McHugh