This Sunday I went walkabout in Dublin’s oldest streets. Researching the price of organic cherry tomatoes, I made for the Dublin Food Coop. From Thomas Street, I passed throught Meath Street and The Coombe. Quiet and clean swept it being a Sunday, the redbrick houses are history in themselves. The families that grew up there, the messages bought, the workers arriving in , scraping theit boots on the built in irons that still protrude from the redbrick at foot level.
The men who arrived home without work during the lockout and strikes of 1913 – the stories those walls could tell.
Google maps brought me to the market – a buzzing hive of activity. Tourists from all over th world had found their way to this hub of crafts, music collections ,coffee and food.
Cherry tomatoes were to be found @ €5 per kilo. Sourced from Spain so methinks there is a gap in the market for Irish Organic Cherry tomatoes.
When you walk up off the Oliver Bond street parallel to Thomas Street and go through the tall metal gates, you leave behind the city and enter a mini garden of paradise.
Order has been brought to chaos with rows of vegetables stretching out in raised beds and more chaos has been created with the mountains of composting material being gathered daily by Tony Lowth whose brainchild this project is.
The cycle continues with the compost being spread on the ground ceating no dig beds with minimal weeds. It is a pleasure to work this soil. Rich and friable , dark but light to the touch, its fertility is evident in the abundance of lettuce, leeks and kale still growing in November.
Tony is no stranger to social change and he has a plan to create employment out of waste. The practical application of labour to waste ground is no random idea but is carefully thought out.
IN the meantime, the backdrop of the citys noise – sellers in Meath Street calling out, Christchurch playing the Bells of the Angelus at noon and the visual impact of graffiti on the gardens walls remind you where you are. In the heart of the oldest part of Dublin and not 500 metres from where Robert Emmet was hanged, a farm that out forefathers would be proud of is thriving.