Mid Ulster’s first ever Allotments Gathering took place on Thursday past, bringing together around 50 local allotment holders and community gardeners from numerous groups across the district.
The event, which was jointly organised by Mid Ulster District Council and The Conservation Volunteers, took place at the Nunnery Hill Community Garden at Dungannon Park.
The gathering allowed allotment holders and community gardeners to network and share ideas and experiences and to learn from one another, while at the same time celebrating and showcasing their plots.
Workshops took place during the morning, including learning about bees and how to make a bee home, jointly presented by the Mid Ulster Beekeepers’ Association and Council’s Biodiversity Officer. Successful composting was also on the programme and Dermot Hughes from Forage Ireland was present to deliver a workshop on foraging and cooking with wild foods.
Thirty Primary 5 pupils from the local Howard Primary School also participated in a Schools Gardening Workshop delivered by Karen McAvoy from The Conservation Volunteers.
As well as receiving a tour around Nunnery Hill allotments, there was an opportunity for attendees to voice their gardening questions and concerns to an expert panel during a Gardeners Question Time.
Competitions also took place throughout the event for various categories, including ‘Healthy Lunchbox’, ‘Ingredients for a Home-grown Veggie Stew’ and ‘Potted, Bottled, Preserved or Pickled Harvest’, and the winning groups were presented with their prize rosettes by Chair of the Council, Councillor Trevor Wilson.
“This morning’s event at the fabulous Nunnery Hill Community Garden was fantastic and a pleasure to be a part of,” he said. ”It was an excellent example of collaborative working and of what can be learned when different groups come together and share their experiences, skills and stories. I’m sure everyone who attended had a fun and informative morning and went home with a wealth of knowledge they didn’t have previously.”
Debbie Adams, TCV Regional Director, added: “This is a brilliant example of the strength of partnership working to benefit everyone in the community.”
See more photographs in next week’s paper.