The garden is a source of innovative recreational, educational and artistic activities for members and the wider community. The garden provides a space for the community to relax, enjoy surroundings and meet with their neighbours. Events in the garden also attract local interest and bring in more new members. Events held throughout the year include:
Our annual open day is an opportunity for the wider community to partake in a range of workshops (eg. arts, crafts, circus skills and a petting zoo). Our visitors also get to listen to some great music, partake in gardening workshops, adopt plants and can sign up for garden membership on the day. As part of our social inclusion policy, the flyer for our Open Days is translated into several languages including Arabic, Chinese, Igbo, Polish, Russian and Yoruba and the whole area is leafleted.
We run many garden, food, art, music and wellness related workshops every year which are open to the wider community. Whether it’s learning about how to make fermented food, how pruning works, relaxing with Tai Chi or creating with Cruinniú na nÓg, the garden has a lot to offer in the way of education. We have also developed a range of composting methods for educational purposes, including compost bins and a wormery and have held a wide range of classes on gardening and biodiversity. Our recent ‘seed to pizza’ project with local primary school St Columba’s in association with UCD was a great success. Seeds were planted by junior and senior infants just before lockdown and we took photos of the growing wheat for the school newsletter, while they were out of school. They were back to school just in time to harvest the wheat. Next will be to learn how to mill it, and then, make pizza in our pizza oven!
As part of our events calendar, we run regular music and poetry events in the garden including our most recent Mudstock Festival, which was streamed on our YouTube channel for the community during lockdown. Music features at all of our events and we have collaborated on many lineups with Nathalie and Paula, the curators of the House Presents (who have been bringing the community together and providing a platform for local performers and artists of all genres).
Another major annual event we host each year is a Halloween party for local families, featuring a large haunted house with sound effects that delights and terrifies in equal measure! This has truly become one of our most loved annual events.
We joined the Social Hops movement and contributed to the first collective harvest of hops in 2016, resulting in a ‘social hops’ beer brewed by Rascals Brewery in Rathcoole. We have been providing hops for the community brew ever since!
We have also collaborated with the Five Lamps Arts Festival for many years now and have run our Community Picnic as part of the festival. This allows the wider community to come together, share food and enjoy what the community garden space has to offer.
One of our memorable outreach events was inviting residents from Mosney Direct Provision centre to the garden for a ‘potato planting’ event. Two busloads of Syrian and Kurdish families came and enjoyed a BBQ and some live music and the kids enjoyed creating art in our workshop. Garden members have since made a return visit to Mosney.
Another of our outreach projects has been bringing our ‘Plastic Fantastic’ caravan, clad with a recycled plastic bottletop mosaic, to the Trailerpark at Electric Picnic. There we have run workshops on recyled arts, crafts and shewee making! Our colourful caravan is now parked up and has become the backdrop of our music stage, featuring in many of our music events.
Our Christmas, Spring and pop-up markets throughout the year have become regulars on our calendar and allow the community to support the garden and local producers. This year we are delighted to announce that our market has gone online and you can visit it here. In these strange and uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to shop local!
We are always planning new events and workshops, including new online ones in response to COVID 19, so stay tuned to our upcoming events/workshops section.
Mud Island are members of:
Dublin Community Growers https://www.dublincommunitygrowers.ie/
Community Gardens Ireland http://cgireland.org/
Dublin City Council
North East Inner City Programme Board: http://www.neic.ie/
Croke Park Community Fund: https://crokepark.ie/communityfund