Rooted in the Soil: A History of Cottage Gardens and Allotments in Ireland since 1750

Overview

The last decade has seen a remarkable rise in gardening for the purpose of food production in Ireland. In many ways though, today's gardeners are drawing on a part of Irish heritage that has been important since early Christian times - the use of a small patch of land to cultivate fruit and vegetables.

In this book, Jonathan Bell and Mervyn Watson, following on from their acclaimed A history of Irish farming (2008), focus on the past 250 years, when cottage gardens, urban ...

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Overview

The last decade has seen a remarkable rise in gardening for the purpose of food production in Ireland. In many ways though, today's gardeners are drawing on a part of Irish heritage that has been important since early Christian times - the use of a small patch of land to cultivate fruit and vegetables.

In this book, Jonathan Bell and Mervyn Watson, following on from their acclaimed A history of Irish farming (2008), focus on the past 250 years, when cottage gardens, urban allotments, farm gardens and community gardens became an integral part of the story of Irish farming. These simple production units have taken on great social importance and the debates engendered by these often small patches of land connect directly to some of the largest issues in Irish history.

This book assesses the significance of these gardens, their role in self-improvement, self-sufficiency and the reinvigoration of community spirit and pride. Many groups, such as improvers, socialists, co-operators and environmentalists, have played an important role in the development of vegetable gardens and gardening strategies. This book provides a new and unrivalled introduction to the various methods and techniques employed, and to 250 years of men and women 'rooted in the soil'.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846823275
  • Publisher: Four Courts Press
  • Publication date: 6/29/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations 7

Introduction 9

1 Gardens are good, or are they? 11

2 Early developments 23

3 The cottage garden ideal 33

4 Urban developments 62

5 The Second World War (1939-45) and after 109

6 Agricultural schools and school gardens 121

7 Women and gardening education 154

8 Recent developments 165

Appendices

1 A Horticultural Calendar, 1834 182

2 Edmondson Brothers' seeds list 189

3 The Twenty-First Report of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland 195

Notes 198

Bibliography 209

Index 215

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