Food Festival Goes to Westside!


Food Fest Goes to  Westside Urban agriculture is increasingly seen as vital to the future of our cities and towns as our urban populations grow rapidly, and calls continue for a more ecological and sustainable way of life. 

However, with less than 2% of crops in Ireland certified organic, we need to create greater awareness about local organic food production, and help people make healthy food choices, choices that support health, the environment, community and farming livelihoods

Growing food as close as possible to where it’s consumed is a simple but key solution in creating a healthier, more sustainable future, minimizing the need for transport and refrigeration, while playing a key role in educating people about eating fresh local food and seasonal. 

From growing herbs in pots, to more ambitious horticultural pursuits, urban farming is revitalizing not just food supply chains and disused areas, but also a greater sense of community spirit, cocreating a greener city, while putting neglected and underutilized spaces to great use.  

Urban agriculture can tackle food poverty, maximise health and wellness, and empower communities and citizens.  

People often don’t know what’s in the food we eat, how it’s produced, who produces it, or where it comes from.  By creating awareness about local food production, we help people make food choices that support health, the environment, community and farming livelihoods. 

For Galway Food Festival 2018 we are showcasing the Westside area’s emerging food growing culture.  A number of new and exciting community food initiatives have developed or sprung up in the last few years, including the Third Space Galway’s Demonstration Edible Forest Garden, the Westside Community Garden, a hügelkultur beside the Westside Youth Project, and the Shantalla Allotments. 

On Thursday 29th March, an invitation is extended to our local communities and visitors to nourish, nurture, and connect to these projects generating local, fresh, organically and sustainably grown food in Westside.  Bring your friends and family and enjoy a visit to all our events and to the food growing projects of the Westside.  

Cooking demonstration by JP McMahon - Westside Resource Centre and Community Garden 2.30pm 

The Westside Resource Centre will host JP McMahon of Cava, Aniar, and Tartare for a cooking demonstration at 2.30pm as he turns vegetables from the community garden into soup! 

Contact James on 091 528325 for more information.  

Youth Art Project Launch, ISSA Seed swap, DIY seed pots and seed bombs, talk by Irish Seed Savers Association and locally produced food - By the Bean Tree
Westside Youth Project, Corrach Buí Centre 3.30pm-6pm

EcoArt Launch:  Youth Work Ireland’s Westside Youth Project has begun to look at food growing as a way to help young people connect with the planet and themselves.  With the help of Finbar247 and Martina Finn of Third Space Galway Arts Collective, 10-12 year olds created both a sculpture from “foraged” and “local” rubbish as well as a hügelkultur, a densely packed pile of organic material which will sustain the plants growing on it for many years to come.  Today the sculpture, dubbed the Jellybot, settles into her new home as we install her into the hügelkultur, where she will be surrounded in future by a lush array of edible plants.  Finbar 247 and Martina Finn will launch the Jellybot and the hügelkultur; the Bean Tree will provide food. 

Westside Seed swap:  It’s that time of year again where we are all beginning to plan our gardens for the year ahead:  where to plant the veg, and where the pollinator friendly flowers?  

Third Space Galway and the Westside Youth Project are delighted to cohost a local Seed Swop with the acclaimed Irish Seed Savers Association.. 

So many questions arise for people in their gardens st this time of year.. What did I plant there last year?  What will I plant there this year?  .. but the work, care, harvesting and eating that lies ahead all begins with a seed.

Every year Irish Seed Savers Association welcomes the growing season by hosting a seed share day in their gardens in Co. Clare.  We’re delighted that this year, they will join us in Galway and share about their new Seed Sovereignty Project and host a Seed Swap in Westside. There will also be a short talk on seed saving. 

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to experience the richness and abundance of seed saving and swapping.  If you have any spare seeds, bring them along for everyone to share; it doesn’t matter what type of seeds they are, as long as they are organic.  You may arrive with some spare lettuce seed, but end up going home with some rare emerald apple tomato seeds from Russia!  And Don’t be surprised if you go home with more seeds than when you arrived. 

DIY Seed pots and seed bombs: As part of this event Third Space Galway members will also cohost a seed planting event with a DIY component:  make your compostable seed pot from old newspapers and other biodegradable and compostable materials, or using the Bean Trees biodegradable serving pots and when your seeds sprout you can plant these straight into the ground. 

Food: ‘Eat your curry and plant your pot’ 

There will be food provided by the Bean Tree to keep us all going as we swap, make, talk, launch, and learn!

Contact Kerry E’lyn on 087 937 1619 for more information. 

Forest Garden Tour, talk, and ‘Pea and Potato’ Planting workshop - Edible Forest Garden (Westside Amenity Track) 5-6pm 

Tour and talk: Forest gardening is recognised for its low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems.  The Westside Forest Garden was planted in 2017 as part of an art and climate change action by Third Space Galway, in partnership with the Westside Community, Westside Youth Project and Conservation Volunteers Galway.  It consists of a large number of native trees, a variety of fruit trees, soft fruit bushes, and edible shrubs, alongside many perennial and annual edibles and medicinal herbs.  The project highlights how we can feed ourselves and live more sustainably using restorative agroecology and regenerative ecological design practices, that reflect the interconnectedness between our lives and our food systems and collective community and cultural action. 

Planting Workshop

We are delighted to be joined by members of the Bean Tree team, renowned for their madras pea and potato curry .. as part of today's Potato and Pea planting workshop… St Patrick’s Day is the traditional indication in Ireland that it’s time to sow your potatoes.. Third Space Galway are delighted to host a planting workshop, sharing local food producing stories and regenerative agricultural practices. 

Forest Garden & Permaculture Designer Istvan Markuly will join us and offer a fruit tree pruning and plant care workshop.  

Learn how we can live more sustainably, grow food in harmony with nature and strengthen the resilience of our communities using permaculture design, thereby increasing awareness and improving access to local organic food and sustainable community food systems 

Contact Martina on 087 220 1972 for more information. 

Film - Westside Resource Centre 7.30pm  

Film:  A film on food will be shown in the Westside Resource Centre at 7.30pm.  

Contact James on 091 528325 for more information.     


The Bean Tree is a family owned and run vegetarian food company with most of our food also vegan and gluten-free. We started selling our Pea & Potato Curry in St. Nicholas Market in 1996 along with chapattis and stuffed chapattis. We now have a team of local people working with us and produce a range of vegan/vegetarian foods.'

Third Space Galway (est. 2013) is a participatory arts research project, with aims to bridge strands of contemporary creative practice with the socio-cultural ecology in which it operates, through a trans-local and trans-disciplinary exchange of ideas and creative working methodologies.Its art functions to promote a generative discourse, furthering conversations around regenerative cultural practices, bioregionism and climate change. It's collaborative productions include creating interdisciplinary platforms for participatory discursive events and activist arts and environmental interventions in public space.

Westside Youth Project works with young people, in the 10 to 21 age group, from all the estates that comprise the Westside area of Galway City.  The project supports young people in their social, personal and educational development through a variety of activities and programmes and through positive engagement with the community.

Finbar247 is one of Ireland’s most vibrant visual artists to use outdoor spaces as a showcase for the arts and personal expression.  He first began painting graffiti in 2002. After studying Visual Communications at the Limerick School of Art & Design, he took off around Europe in a camper van with a Mathematician and an Engineer. Working with street artists and buskers ignited his passion for public art.  His mission is to take the old, unloved walls and spaces of the city and turn them into pieces of art for the general public to enjoy.

The Irish Seed Savers Association maintains the country’s public seed bank with over 600 non-commercially available varieties of seed. They conserve and grow heritage apple trees and other fruit tree varieties. ISSA main objective is to conserve Ireland’s very special and threatened plant genetic resources. Their work focuses on the preservation of heirloom and heritage food crop varieties that are suitable for Ireland’s unique growing conditions. And this year they launch their new Seed Sovereignty initiative in partnership with Gaia Foundation International.

Westside Resource Centre is a community-based organisation which provides fully serviced offices to a variety of services and local branches of national organisations.  It supports community work in the local area and is involved with community initiatives such as Westside Arts Festival, Westside Christmas Market, Social Inclusion Week and Culture Night.  The centre has a range of meeting rooms available for hire by community, voluntary and support groups and serves as a base for a number of local community groups such as Westside Community Patchers, Westside Men's Club,  Westside Craft Group and Westside Community Organic Garden. 

Westside Community Garden was set up in 2011 with the help of Westside Resource Centre, the VEC, HSE and the local council who gave the site.  It has gone from strength to strength.   Volunteers are always welcome in Westside Community Garden. 

JP MacMahon  - Galway Food Festival

Istvan Markuly is an agroforestry and Permaculture designer and educator based in West Cork. He's cofounder of the West Cork Permaculture Initiative and an active contributor to numerous Permaculture and Agroforestry projects locally, nationally and internationally, including the Westside Edible Demo Forest Garden.