Aine says, âWe haven’t won anything before, so it’s a nice surprise!
The duo signed up for the National I Can Grow Up Lottery-funded Acorn Farm project this year and grew their own food through the program.
Acorn Farm provides 250 local families with raised beds and seedlings and they are supervised by a horticulturalist to grow their own fruits and vegetables over an 18 month period. The project is carried out by the Community Foundation NI in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers and Council.
The Primary 1 Aine teacher said, âIt is incredibly satisfying to eat a meal with ingredients grown in your garden. My son John also likes it very much and we both find it a great way to relax.
âI hope to start a small garden club for some local children in the coming months to pass on some of the lessons we learned from the wonderful Acorn Farm ‘I Can Grow Up’ project. We are so thrilled to be a part of this and to have the opportunity to do something so positive for our environment. “
Aine’s 9-year-old son John has a keen interest in gardening and is now looking for more inventive and environmentally friendly ways to garden.
She says, âJohn really enjoys checking the vegetables and watering the plants and I enjoyed getting advice from the horticulturalist that I passed on to friends. It’s nice to be able to lift something from your back garden and bring it into the kitchen to cook for dinner.
âIt also caught the attention of neighbors who came to take a look and were inspired to get into the culture themselves.
âWe have to take care of our community and ‘I can grow up’ allows us to be more self-reliant while eliminating all the pollution involved in transporting food. We hope this is the start of a larger movement to save families money, help them eat a little healthier while taking care of our environment and instilling this philosophy in our children.
The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Alderman Graham Warkehas congratulated Aine and John on their victory: âIt fills me with pride to see a local family like the Kivlehans doing their part for the environment and helping themselves. devote to the production of their own food.
âNot only is this a great reunification activity for families, but it also saves money and protects our environment, reducing our dependence on importing more fruit and vegetables. far. This helps reduce carbon emissions and alleviate pressures on nature.
âOne of the positive aspects of the pandemic is how it has inspired people to connect with nature and start thinking about the journey of food and how we can become more self-reliant and sustainable.
âI want to congratulate everyone involved in these types of initiatives, especially the team behind the Acorn Farm ‘I Can Grow Up’ project which will continue to have huge benefits for families in our district.