On Saturday at the Dublin Book Festival there were several free talks held in the main theatre of Smock Alley. At 12 noon Green Fingers commenced, a talk with gardening book authors.
Michael Kelly moderated. He has been writing about growing food for five years and GIY (Grow It Yourself) was founded in 2009 to inspire people to grow their own food. He talked with Fionnuala Fallon, regular Irish Times and The Irish Gardener contributer, horticulturalist, and garden designer and Trevor Sargent, former Minister for Food and Horticulture and Leader of the Green Party. Fionnuala's book was reviewed on this site earlier this month. (http://dublinduchess.blogspot.ie/2012/11/book-review-from-ground-up-by-fionnuala.html ).
So, Michael asked them, what inspired them? Fionnuala had started out because her parents grew vegetables where she grew up in Co. Wicklow. The children helped out and it became a normal part of their lives. Trevor had been inspired by John Seymour's self sufficiency book which he read as a teenager. Politically as much as horticulturally he was interested in food supply management and he wanted to know the skills required. His parents did not grow much produce but they did have blackcurrant bushes which you couldn't buy and he was inspired by wanting diversity of food in his diet from produce he could not get from the shops.
Fionnuala said that her favourite vegetables to grow were potatoes and her least favourite, celeriac because she hadn't been successful with them so far. Trevor's favourite was beetroot and had been frustrated trying to grow sea kale. He added that when starting out good vegetables to grow were onions, garlic, broadbeans and fruit such as raspberries and strawberries.
This was followed by a lively Q and A from the audience.
Tales from the Home Farm : Live More. Spend Less. Grow Your Own Food by Michael Kelly
Trevor's Kitchen Garden: A Week by Week Guide to Growing Your Own Food by Trevor Sargent
From The Ground Up by Fionnuala Fallon www.collinspress.ie