"When GIY started up that was brilliant for me. There were all these other people who all shared something with me. They might not share everything that I felt about issues or may have different views, but we were all linked by growing our own food ... It just seemed like it was made for me. And the local group is brilliant, I’ve made lots of friends and we’re doing all sorts of interesting things and building a real community. I have learnt such an enormous amount through GIY. It’s like being on a university course in growing your own food.”
Alexis Guilbride, GIY Dungarvan
GIY in the Media
"How do you deal with the consequences of jobs evaporating in towns, and all the mental troubles that it will inevitably cause as people tumble into depression, lethargy and relationship meltdowns? Can there be a simple answer? Yes. Join GIY. Get yourself motivated by getting your garden rotavated."
John McKenna, Irish Times, Tuesday 20th September 2011
"The best food is the food the farmer grows knowing it will nourish her family. It is food grown with deep empathy, for loved ones and for the living soil. Ashoka is proud to count Michael Kelly, founder of GIY, as one of its "lifetime" Fellows and is grateful for his leadership in Ireland and around the world."
Bill Carter, Vice President, Ashoka.
GIY Org Structure
GIY is a company limited by guarantee not having any share capital (CRO number 477525) it is a registered charity (CHY 18920). GIY’s voluntary Board of Directors currently consists of 7 people. The Board meets quarterly. GIY employs six people and has an office in Arclabs Research and Innovation Centre in Waterford, Ireland.
GIY is an emerging global network of people who grow some of their own food.
The GIY movement is made up of interconnected people and community food-growing groups.
There are over 50,000 GIYers and over 800 food growing projects involved in the movement currently.
The community is supported by the GIY foundation (reg charity CHY 18920) which runs events and programmes to build awareness and knowledge.
We aim to create a network of over 1 million 'GIYers' in 20 countries in the next 5 years.
The way the food chain currently operates has profound implications for our health, community, environment and local economies. It is based on a system where nutrients in land, food and people are depleted in a never-ending drive for increased yields.
Scare resources and valuable nutrients are wasted even further transporting food around the globe and there is an ever-widening gulf between food production and consumption. This has resulted in the vicious circle of unhealthy, degenerative environment, lack of nutrients in food and a crisis of food-related wellness issues.
GIY's vision is for a healthy, happy and more sustainable world, where land, food and people are fully nourished.
We believe that change begins with the decision to sow a seed – if we can encourage enough people to grow some of their own food, we can create an army of people who have 'food empathy'.
What is Food Empathy?
By growing some of our own food (even if it's only some salads on a windowsill) we get a better understanding of food - where it comes from, how it's produced and what happens before it reaches our plate.
This is important because when we have food empathy, it can be transformative in our lives. When GIYers engage with the food chain, they buy more seasonal food, more local food, more organic food. Their physical and mental health can be transformed. They live more sustainably.
How can I get involved?
- Sign up to our free ezine
- Join the GIY network and connect to other GIYers locally and globally
- Become a supporting member
- Join a GIY group
- Start a GIY group to bring people together to grow food at home, at work or in the community
- Affiliate an existing food growing project or group (in a school, community organisation, community garden or allotment) to the GIY network.
- Does your organisation share our ethos?
- Are you interested in partnering with us to make home-grown food the norm?
- Get in touch!
Where did it all start?
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.
Being a contrary git, he decided to grow his own garlic and started his GIY journey. 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 meets monthly in the city.
An idea that started local, went regional, then national and now international.
What did GIY achieve...
Highlights for GIY 2013 (so far)
- Sow & Grow campaign which saw 30,000 school kids start their GIY journey in partnership with innocent.
- Nearly 2,000 people took part in Operation GIY Nation;
- Over 80 local food growing projects received funding from the Get Ireland Growing fund in partnership with AIB.
- Second issue of GROW magazine and a weekly column in The Irish Independent;
- The 2013 GIY Gatherings in Waterford and Birmingham (GIY UK Launch) will see over 800 people, including some of the world's leading growing experts and advocates, come together to inspire and support each other to grow food.