Transition Derry

Tackling Peak Oil, Climate Change and Economic Breakdown

Interested in Growing your own Food? 

Why GIY? 


GIY Evening in the Eco-Base, Belmont Playtrail, Racecourse Rd, Derry Tuesday August 28th at 6pm.


You are invited to attend a FREE evening of discussion centred on why we should GIY (Grow it Yourself). This event will be hosted by the Playtrail Community Allotments, Derry supported by Transition Derry and facilitated by Mick McEvoy the Ulster GIY rep'. We hope there will be enough enthusiasm at the event to enable us to start a new GIY Derry group.


About GIY

Our vision is for a healthier, more sustainable and more connected world where people grow their own food.

We inspire and empower people to grow their own by bringing them together in community groups and online to share tips, advice and expertise. Founded in Ireland by Michael Kelly in 2009 there are now over 15,000 people involved and over 100 GIY groups. The organisation started in Australia in 2010 and will launch in the rest of the UK in late 2012.

The Problem

Go to your local supermarket and chances are, what you will see on the shelves are imports of highly-processed, unseasonal produce - broccoli from Kenya, mangetout from Senegal, carrots from Guatemala and so on. The way the food chain currently operates has implications for our health, community, the environment, the economy and jobs. So, what’s the solution? Write an angry letter? Lobby a politician? At GIY we believe that change begins with the decision to sow a seed – if we can encourage enough people to grow their own vegetables, we can transform the food chain and bring some common sense back in to our relationship with food.

The Solution

Grow the food yourself! At GIY we want people to experience what we call GIY Joy - the special type of joy that you get from sowing seeds, sticking your hands in the soil and growing your own food. We do this by bringing people together in community groups and online to help each other grow. There are over 100 GIY groups and approximately 12,000 people involved between our community groups and the online social network at Join the GIY revolution and help us to make home-grown food a reality in your community!

Where did it all start?

Journalist and author Michael Kelly set up the first GIY group in Waterford in 2009. Michael and his wife have been growing their own food for about five years and went in search of a local food growers group for them to join so that they could learn from some real experts and get to know other like-minded folk in the area. But there was no such group, and being a sucker for a hare-brained project, Michael decided to set one up.


100 people showed up at the first meeting of GIY Waterford and the group continues to meets monthly in the city. Not long afterwards other GIY groups were formed in neighbouring towns.  Michael spent nearly two years driving around Ireland in a battered old GIY-mobile, starting GIY groups in towns from Navan to Nenagh, Belfast to Bantry, Limerick to Lucan.  Things have got a little more sophisticated since, but the ethos of GIY remains the same -we're all about bringing people together so that they can grow their own food more successfully.  So an idea that started local has gone regional, then national and now international.


With our economy in a perilous state and increasing concerns about the quality of our food system, there is unprecedented interest in producing organic food in back gardens, allotments and community gardens. Unfortunately, right at the time when it would be most useful, there is a deficit of practical expertise about growing food.  As individuals and as a society we have lost the necessary knowledge and skills that a generation ago were taken for granted.


GIY’s vision is for a healthier, more connected and more sustainable world where people grow their own food.  The organisation brings people together in community groups and online to inspire and empower them to grow vegetables.  There are over 100 GIY community groups and approximately 12,000 people involved in the movement around Ireland. GIY is a registered charity – CHY 18920.


GIY group activities include monthly meetings, talks and demos; garden visits, seed and seedling swaps; produce bartering, mentor panels and grower’s meitheals. Meetings are free of charge, and open to all – beginners and experts, young and old.


The GIY website allows you to connect and share ideas with fellow growers and also includes information on GIY groups nationwide, a web-shop, as well as wheelbarrow loads of information - video tutorials, daily tips, articles, veg directory, photos and monthly grower’s calendars.  Registered members receive a weekly ezine featuring news, tips and seasonal recipes.


GIY was founded by author and journalist Michael Kelly.  Patrons of the organisation include Darina Allen, Clodagh McKenna, Klaus Laitenberger, Ella McSweeney and Joy Larkcom and the organisation is proudly supported by Woodies DIY, AIB, Innocent, Bord Bia, The Arthur Guinness Fund, Ashoka and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.


Your local GIY group needs a mix of interests, abilities and experience to make this a success – so don’t be shy.  Come along and bring any family, friends or neighbours who might be interested too.


For more information visit or contact Mick McEvoy at or 07772838227

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