New market garden scheme will benefit schools and older people in Creggan

Thu, 10/01/2013 - 16:31 -- Editor

Apex is to include 65 allotment plots to create a market garden scheme at its new housing development at Circular Road in Creggan.

Both the housing and the allotments are due to be allocated in March-April of this year, once construction of the housing is completed.

SDLP Councillor Jim Clifford pointed out that the scheme has great potential not only for older people, but also for schools to engage in growing market produce and learn the skills required to run a market garden.

The allotment scheme at St. Columb’s Park stands as a successful model to be followed by the new development in Creggan.

“Since 2009, when I visited the allotment site in St Columb’s Park in the Waterside, I have been calling on Derry City Council to actively identify sites that could be converted into allotment plots and develop a city-wide strategy which will promote the benefits of these. There is also a very real opportunity to get the community involved in growing its own fruit and vegetables. If given the necessary backing by the relevant authorities it would provide an entirely new dimension to healthy living.

“There is also no reason why local schools could not get involved. Pupils could develop their Citizen Skills in a thoroughly practical way by growing foodstuffs that would be of benefit to, for example, pensioners.

“Indeed, for our older people in particular, having an allotment is a good way to make friends and learn gardening skills.”