SEED is a national network of educational centres and professionals with many years experience in Primary and Post Primary environmental education, specialising in all aspects of organic school gardening.
Our aims are to establish living classrooms in every school to demonstrate that school gardens have unlimited cross curricular potential, particularly tying in with SESE, SPHE, Art, Languages, History and Maths.
Collectively, we have experience in establishing organic school gardens for over 10 years throughout Ireland. We have developed training materials and literature for schools including the 'Organic Gardening for Primary Schools' DVD and worksheets (KEEP) for Bord Bia, 'Go Wild at School', 'The School Garden - What to Do and When to Do It' (Paddy Madden), 'The Year Round Organic School Garden' (KEEP and ISSA), 'Growing Together Schools' (Organic Centre), and DIY School Garden videos (Blackrock Education Centre). Paddy Madden also writes a monthly article for INTO's In Touch magazine.
All centres have organised and presented teacher training courses through their local Education Centres for many years. We have developed a potential FETAC accredited training programme for teachers and school gardeners. We are supported by the INTO and the majority of core members are also listed as Heritage Specialists in the Heritage in Schools Scheme.
Our members have provided organic school garden features at BLOOM for 4 years, including Gold Medal award winning show garden 'The Living Classroom (Recycled)' by KEEP.
The Organic Centre
Phone: 071 985 4338
Set on a 7.7 ha site in the heart of rural Leitirm, has developed organic school gardens in the NorthWest, both sides of the border for over 10 years. We offer expert advice and courses on organic gardening in schools, guided educational tours and discovery trails featuring native woodlands, seasonal food, various habitats, etc. Practical workshops can be tailored to the needs of each school, e.g. composting, seed sowing and saving. The centre provides full time training (FETAC Level 5) and over 150 short courses. Our online shop sells organic seeds, books, tools and sundries.
Sonairte Visitor Eco-Centre and Gardens
Sonairte Visitor Eco-Centre and Gardens has been teaching organic gardening, sustainable living and environmental awareness since 1985. Our 4ha. site on the banks of the River Nanny Estuary provides us with a unique location to study the natural environment. Our nature trail explores meadowland, woodland and salt marsh. In our 250 year old organic fruit and vegetable garden students at all levels learn about organic gardening, recycling, composting and the importance of biodiversity in the garden.
Irish Seed Savers Association
Phone: 061 921 856/866
The Irish Seed Savers Association was set up in 1991 with the objective of preventing the further extinction of Irish-bred agricultural varieties of food crops. The Association operates from a 8 ha site in Co. Clare comprising of orchards, vegetable gardens and broadleaf woodlands, operating under strictly organic standards. Our education programme includes year round environmental workshops with primary and post primary schools, school tours, establishing organic school gardens, Easter camps, Summer camps, Christmas and Halloween activities. Each activity has a strong emphasis on biodiversity, habitats, learning about where our food comes from and developing a lifelong respect for our living environment.
Kerry Earth Education Project
Ballyseedy, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Phone: 066 713 7042/087 924 6968 (Ian)
Kerry Earth Education Project at Gortbrack Organic Farm, was formed in 1995. KEEP is an environmental education company that works directly with schools, community groups and special needs groups in the planning and development of sustainable organic garden and native habitat projects. We also host farm tours at Gortbrack demonstrating a broad range of habitats and food production techniques.
Marino Institute of Education
Marino Institute of Education is a third level college established in 1904 and situated on Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9. It offers a four-year undergraduate Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) programme and an eighteen-month postgraduate Higher Diploma in Education (Primary), both awarded by Trinity College Dublin. It is very interested in promoting environmental education.
Blackrock Education Centre
Phone: 01 2365000
Blackrock Education Centre (BEC) is an agency of the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland. It is one of a national network of 21 such centres and provides support for teachers and others involved in education in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County, part of South County Dublin and North County Wicklow. It has a reputation for promoting environmental education for many years.
Patrick is an architect and organic gardener who is passionate about environmental sustainability and community self-sufficiency. Patrick has a wealth of experience in primary, secondary and third level education and, as a Heritage in Schools specialist, offers practical demonstrations in a wide range of organic gardening techniques as well as advice and mentoring in the establishment and management of a school garden. He also runs regular summer courses for primary school teachers entitled 'Biodiversity and Gardening in Schools'.