GIY's vision is for a healthy, happy and more sustainable world, where people grow some of their own food. The way the food chain currently operates has profound implications for our health, community, environment and local economies. Valuable nutrients are wasted transporting food around the globe and there is an ever-widening gulf between food production and consumption. GIY believes that change begins with the decision to sow a seed and if we can encourage enough people to grow some of their own food then we can build a whole army of people that have 'food empathy' and fundamentally change the way our global food chain operates.
It all started when journalist Michael Kelly had a Road to Damascus moment in a supermarket in Waterford, Ireland, when he realised some garlic he was about to buy was imported from China. He decided there and then to try growing his own garlic. He soon realised however, that he wasn't very good at it. He went in search of a local food growers group so that he 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 meet monthly in the city.
With the help of a merry band of Waterford GIYers, Michael helped GIY groups to get started in towns all over Ireland, from Navan to Nenagh, Belfast to Bantry, Limerick to Lucan.
An idea that started local, went regional, then national and now international.
GIY is a not-for-profit social enterprise and leading food literacy organisation supporting the UN Sustainability Goals by reconnecting people with food. We help people to grow food at home, in school, at work or in the community, empowering them to become healthier and more sustainable.
In 2018 GIY will help over 500,000 people to grow their own food and support over 5,000 community food growing projects in Ireland, the UK and North America. Our ambition is to help 4 million people to grow some of their own food between now and 2025. The home of GIY, GROW HQ, in Waterford is an award winning zero-waste restaurant and urban veg garden, an exemplar of a sustainable food business and the action Hub for the UN SDG2 Advocacy Hub’s Chefs Manifesto in Ireland. Our TV series, books and products inspire and support people to grow food at scale. www.GIY.ie
How to get involved
As a Champion you’ll need up to 4 hours per week to start and maintain your GIY Group.
Given the current restrictions that are in place around Covid-19, we encourage you to start by growing some food at home, growing it forward by sharing seeds or seedlings with neighbors and family members and using this time at home to plan for a community garden or community food growing project that can kick off properly when restrictions allow.