My group, FADA, is still going well, although we’ve slowed down during this busy time of year.
We have begun hosting meetings of local families who are interested in growing their own, from town-dwellers with a small garden to professional pig and chicken farmers. The group is called GIY (for Grow It Yourself) Newbridge, part of a network of GIY clubs begun by former journalist Michael Kelly. GIY patrons include an array of Irish chefs, gardeners and media personalities -- Diarmuid Gavin and author/chefs Darina Allen, Clodagh McKenna and Joy Larkcom.
We drew about 30 people at the first meeting and about 30 at the second one – including new people, which is a good sign.
Also, some FADA members have also become Transition Town Newbridge, after the town in County Kildare where we meet.
For those who don’t know, the Transition Towns is a global movement that began in Kinsale, Ireland a few years ago. Geologist Colin Campbell, godfather of the peak oil movement and local resident, spoke in 2005 to a group of Kinsale students, and the class resolved to transition their region away from fossil fuels. The name and idea has spread rapidly -- there are now 274 Transition Towns across the world, in countries like Japan, the USA, Chile, Germany, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Finland.
For many people, forming a Transition Town might be a bold first step, often taken by people who have recently heard about issues like peak oil and then found each other. In our case, it is a bit of an anticlimax -- FADA started here in County Kildare around the same time that the first Transition Town, with a similar idea and approach, was forming to the south of us in Kinsale, County Cork. They and we weren’t aware of each other when we started, but we soon learned of them, and our members and Transition Town activists have met and worked together ever since, as the Transition Town name spread rapidly.
In other words, we’ve always been a sort of unofficial Transition Town, and we’ve already spun off into two Transition Towns. Now we’re making it official and joining the global network.