Press release From Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Published on 3 June 2022
The Minister of State with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity, Senator Pippa Hackett, has welcomed the awarding of a silver medal for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s organic edible garden at the Bord Bia Bloom Festival in the Phoenix Park. The garden, designed by James Purdy, illustrates how to grow a range of organic vegetable and fruit crops within a linear, urban space. It also highlights the need to restore hedgerows, meadows and trees within our landscape and environment.
Speaking during her visit to Bloom on Friday 3 June, Minister Hackett said:
“The government is strongly committed to growing the organic sector, and my department’s support for the organic edible garden here at Bloom is another demonstration of that commitment. We expected the organic edible garden to generate strong interest among families and the many visitors to Bloom 2022, and I am delighted to see that it also generated interest among the Judges at the festival. The achievement of taking a Silver Medal in the ‘medium’ category of the Show Garden prizes is a great boost, considering the importance of the garden’s theme.
“The organic edible garden is a wonderful demonstration of the idea that the steps we can take to protect the environment can often begin within our own garden settings, whether that be in a rural or in an urban setting. We know that the profile of organic produce continues to resonate with Irish gardeners, families and consumers, so I would strongly encourage visitors to Bloom to come and see the garden, where experts will be on hand to answer any questions they might have. The organic garden at Bloom shows us in a practical way how healthy edible produce can support plant and soil health, while also sustaining key wildlife environments."
The garden includes a birch tree, edible crab apple espaliers, and a mature hawthorn hedge with low, formal rosemary hedges. There are a range of gooseberry, redcurrants, blackcurrants, and strawberries throughout the garden, with four edible growing beds consisting of potatoes, peas and beans, brassicas, and root vegetables. Cobble paths are lined with mixed herbs such as yarrow, comfrey, and pilewort.
Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bía, said: “Since Bord Bia Bloom opened on Thursday the Organic Edible Show Garden has generated great interest and positive reaction from the visiting public. Over the past two years the public’s increased interest in gardening and, in particular, the growing of seasonal fresh produce has awakened their interest in food security and sourcing locally grown produce which is produced sustainably. The messaging around the organic garden has resonated with visitors, highlighting the potential to develop the organic sector in Ireland. In addition we have nine organic food companies exhibiting in the Food Village at Bord Bia Bloom which is providing an important promotional and marketing opportunity for these companies to increase the awareness of their product offering with the public and build new business through the Bord Bia Bloom Trade Buyer event."
The Organic Edible Garden was not the only Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Garden (DAFM) to win a prize, as a small garden designed and built by DAFM staff-member Shane Kirk from the Horticulture and Plant Health Division of the department also took a Bronze medal in the “Educational” category.