FERMOY BUSINESSMAN DONATES ALLOTMENT SITE
The cost of food, the decline in community interaction and the protection of the environment are all hot topics in society of late, and all these factors are playing on the mind of local representatives who are in turn calling for the introduction of allotments to towns such as Fermoy to alleviate the issues.
It was announced this week that Fermoy businessman Jason McNamara of SolasTech has donated some of his own land at Ballyarthur for allotments in Fermoy.
The administration of the allotments will be run by Fermoy town councillor William Hughes who has long campaigned for the facility at Fermoy Town Council level, as has Cllr Frank O’Flynn at county council level.
Green Party candidate for Fermoy Town Council Adam Douglas also believes that new plans launched by his party can lead to increasing allotment space in the town.
Speaking to The Avondhu, Mr McNamara explained that the environmental ethos of allotment projects is common with that of his company’s renewable energy products.
The Fermoy native’s new company in the Faber Castell Business Park sell solar panelling and various renewable energy technologies while also providing energy rating and audits for homes.
“I think these days a lot of people are cash strapped and tightening their belts,” Mr McNamara said, “People would love the opportunity to lease small plots of land to grow their own produce. I met William and he was telling me how it was hard to get land for allotments so I decided to put my money where my mouth is and give them some land.”
Cllr Hughes said that the land, which will provide approximately 15-20 allotment plots, would help develop community bonds and communication.
“I want to thank Jason, and his mother Nuala, for what they’ve done and for coming on board with this. This is a positive news story in a recession and follows my work in going to Mallow to check out a similar project there. It is one of the many projects I have been working on and I hope to do more. I’d appreciate people’s votes on Friday, to get some support from the town as I have supported the town,” he said.
Cllr Hughes added that the site will need little caretaking, and is fully secured and will encourage fellow allotment users to communicate and barter their produce. Anyone seeing information on the new project should call Cllr Hughes on 087 9474875.
Meanwhile Adam Douglas, the Green Party candidate for Fermoy has welcomed the launch of his party’s allotment and community garden plan.
Amongst the plans of Food Minister Trevor Sargent are ensuring development plans include growing ground, and guidelines and easier access in order to boost confidence in farmers’ markets.
The former Green Party leader said he was determined to encourage more Irish people to grow their own food and Mr Douglas said the proposals have plenty of scope for Fermoy, Minster Sargent also launched a ‘Best Practice for Farmers’ Markets,’ which could have ramifications for Fermoy’s Sunday Market.
New guidelines will include a green flag system to encourage higher standards at markets. The voluntary guidelines will focus on the standards by which a farmers market should aspire, with rules stipulating that food advertised as local produce must be grown either in the county of the market or in an adjoining county.
To signify the local character of the market, at least 50% of the produce on sale must qualify as being of local origin.
The farmers’ market best practice flag will offer the public a national accreditation standard for their local Farmers’ Market. Stallholders, Mr Douglas believes, will benefit from greater confidence, local pride and higher profile.
“The organisers of Fermoy’s Sunday Market are to be applauded for the great job they’ve done in advertising the event far and wide and achieving such consistently high traffic through the market. These initiatives aim to support the success achieved to date,” Mr Douglas concluded.
Thursday 4th June 7:28pm