GIY Market Garden at Curraghmore Estate

Seriously exciting news from the multi-award winning social enterprise GIY (Grow It Yourself) this month, on their expansion to develop a GIY Market Garden at Curraghmore Estate in Portlaw, Co. Waterford.

Having announced their ambition to find additional land to expand their food education and production activities in 2022, they’ve now signed a lease that enables them to create a mixed-use organic smallholding. Situated within Curraghmore Estate’s 19th-century 12-acre walled garden, which is one of the largest walled gardens anywhere in Ireland and the UK, it will be home to traditional breed poultry and pigs as well as field-scale vegetables and fruit following regenerative agriculture principles.

The partnership with the Curraghmore Estate is building on the success of GROW HQ in Waterford city to create a regenerative food education campus in Waterford that will be a model of a sustainable food system with a mixture of food production, education, enterprise and tourism. Announcing that they will be turning the sod on the new GIY Market Garden this spring, GIY founder Michael Kelly explained, “We will be using the new land for food production using farming and grazing practices that restore organic matter, soil and ecosystem health; for food education offering immersive education experiences through courses, visits and events for children and adults; for food tourism in working with the Curraghmore Estate to provide world-class regenerative food tourism experiences and for food enterprise by creating a community of GIY enterprises from an organic veg box scheme, to the supply of local restaurants with veg, eggs and meat and more. It's a very exciting next step for GIY and one that we believe will create an impact and benefit for people and the planet."

The next stage of the project will see preparation for spring 2024 planting across 7 acres, with the first food production and harvest underway through 2024. GIY would also like to see the walled garden restored ‘to some of its former glory’ - at one stage the walled garden would have employed 40 gardeners and supplied the estate and Portlaw itself with produce. It was pioneering and innovative for its time and was the first workplace of rewilding pioneer William Robinson, making the ultimate aim of restoring some of the garden buildings as education spaces especially appropriate.

People in Waterford and beyond will be able to sign up to receive a weekly box of organically grown produce from the GIY Walled Garden from July 2024. GIY has launched a registration process for people to find out more and sign up for the waiting list at

This project was approved by Government with support from the Dormant Accounts Fund.

  • GIY is recognised as one of Ireland's leading and most innovative social enterprises and a thought leader in food, health and sustainability. The organisation has a track record of working collaboratively with partners across sectors – from foundations to corporate partners, to national bodies such as Healthy Ireland, Bord Bia and Failte Ireland, and even at a global level with the UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Hub. GROW HQ, the home of GIY, is an award-winning food education centre, urban farm, shop and café based in Waterford City.
  • Curraghmore Estate, near Portlaw in Co Waterford, is the ancestral home of the Marquis of Waterford and just a 25-minute drive from GROW HQ. With 800 years of history, it is the last of four castles built by the de la Poer family after their arrival in Ireland in 1167 and their descendants still live there today. It is also home to Curraghamore Whiskey and the All Together Now music festival. The gardens include a formal parterre, tiered lawns, a lake, an arboretum and kitchen gardens. The estate contains some of Ireland's most remarkable surviving trees - sweet chestnut and oaks, beech, Chinese Fir, Japanese Umbrella Pine, a Maritime Pine, Lebanese Cedar and the estate's and Ireland's tallest tree, an enormous Sitka Spruce. At 12 acres, the walled kitchen garden was known to be the largest walled garden in the UK and Ireland - at one stage it employed 40 gardeners. The farm at Curraghmore was considered Europe's first commercialised farm. Champion of the naturalistic style of gardening, William Robinson started his horticulture career at Curraghmore and later became a famous garden writer and author of The Wild Garden (1870).

*Pictured at Curraghmore Estate are Richard Mee Head Grower at GIY, Michael Kelly Founder of GIY, Richard The Earl of Tyrone Curraghmore Estate and Michael Murphy Head Gardener at Curraghmore Estate for the announcement of the GIY Market Garden at Curraghmore Estate [Photo: Patrick Browne].

There are currently no comments

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment
Not a member? Register for your free membership now!
Or leave a comment by logging in with: