Sitric Compost Community Garden

Sitric Road, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7

Sitric Community Garden is a small patch of land at the end of a terrace of 60 two up and two down houses in Stoneybatter in Dublin. The land was once derelict, but is transformed into a garden growing vegetables, herbs and fruit. It is also a focal point for community activities. The initiator in the project is Kaethe Burt-O’Dea. The garden started as an experimental composting centre in 2005, composting household kitchen waste. None of the original participants had gardens. They began to grow vegetables with the compost on a derelict patch of land. A small conservation grant from Vodafone helped develop the garden. Many things are grown in the garden including, various salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, strawberries, passion fruit and many herbs.


Many of the houses in the area either have no gardens or only have small concrete gardens. The garden provides an important space to grow. It is also a space where social interaction is facilitated. People from the area meet on the first Sunday of each month to garden together, and share tea and cake. Anybody is able to help themselves to the vast variety of food that is grown.

Community gardens are important amenities for learning about food and nutrition, as well as providing healthy local grown and in season produce. They are site for encouraging people to come together and be a member of a group. Community gardens are run in a democratic way and empower local residents to be active in their community and be drivers in making it a better place. They are also beneficial in terms of biodiversity.

Renowned bi-annual street parties (one in the summer and one to co-incide with harvesting) attract hundreds of enthusiastic community gardeners to swap skills and expertise. There is music, food and even some second hand clothes stalls. The party in June 2010 included a cycle chic fashion show, run in conjunction with Rothar (an organisation that reuses and recycles scrap bicycles, reducing waste). A significant aspect of the parties is the goodwill and community cohesion this simple exercise generates residents of every age and description.

In 2008, Sitric Compost Community Garden won ‘Best Example of Waste Management’ for the Dublin Central Area from Dublin City Council and began cultivating another pocket of neglected space. The garden grew when a resident in an adjoining house provided space to extend the garden. Vertical gardens with climbing fruit plants and herbs and benches have also been created on a derelict wall nearby to support a public bench. The ‘Benchmark’ has transformed this historically anti-social area and won ‘Best Environmental Initiative’ from Dublin City Council in 2009. This success inspired the community to circulate a petition calling for a research project to explore the potential health benefits that could be achieved by converting this underappreciated area of the street into a ‘Pocket Park.’


The Sitric Compost Garden ‘community of interest’ acts as a catalyst for a wide range of community driven projects facilitating sustainable urban restoration, including the LIFELINE project, a highly ambitious proposal promoting the development of a comprehensive network of green infrastructure in Dublin North Central Area.


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