Daily Thoughts

Grow your own

We’ve just finished another year of our fantastic innocent and GIY Sow & Grow. It was another great year with over 20,000 kids around Ireland growing their own in their classrooms. You can find out more about the winners here.

Michael Kelly of GIY wants to get the nation growing their own. It’s good for you and good for the planet so give it a go. Here are Michael’s top tips for getting started:

  1. Start Small.  If you’re anything like us, when you make a decision to grow your own food you will probably want to grow ALL your own food.  Fight that temptation.   No matter how fired up you are, it’s never a good idea to dig up your entire garden. Our advice to people starting off on their growing journey can be summed up in these two words: start small!  
  2. Start Easy.  Think carefully about WHAT you're going to grow.  Some vegetables are very easy to grow (like onions for example) while others require regular attention (take a bow, tomatoes).  Some veg take a long time to grow (e.g. peppers), while others are very quick growing (e.g. salad leaves, rocket, radish etc).  Think about how much space and time you have.  In a space-constrained garden or apartment balcony you probably won’t want to be growing globe artichokes (big plant, little food).  Focus instead on things that give a high return for a small amount of space, like salad leaves or herbs. What do you like to eat?  It sounds obvious but seriously, if you hate celery, you probably won't love it any more when it's home-grown.
  3. Start Growing.  The most important thing is to just get started.  Do it this weekend.  Don't worry if you make mistakes.  Food growing is a journey, as well as a destination.  Share the journey with other GIYers, and have fun.  Stick your hands in the soil.  Smile.

Get more GIY joy at

Sow & Grow


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Sow & Grow winners

This year the innocent and GIY Sow & Grow got 20,000 kids around Ireland growing their own in their classrooms. We sent out free growing packs with seeds, cups, soil and growing tips and the kids got to work. With some great prizes, the little growers had to upload growing diaries for a chance to win.

We were overwhelmed with the brilliant growing from all the schools but after reading through hundreds of fantastic growing diaries, we picked our winners:

1st prize: Cloghans Hill NS, Tuam, Co Galway. Read their diary here.

2nd prize: 2nd Class, St Joseph’s Boys’ Primary School, Gorey, Co Wexford. Read their diary here.

3rd prize: 5th Class, Athenry Boys’ School, Galway. Read their diary here.

Last week Cloghans Hill NS travelled up from Tuam to Bloom in the Pheonix Park to accept their prize. Food Blogger & TV Presenter, Donal Skehan, presented the Sow & Grow trophy.

innocent and GIY Sow & Grow winners

Even The President popped over to say hello.

innocent and GIY Sow & Grow

After the excitement of Bloom, the school headed off to the Zoo for lunch and some animal spotting. Cloghans Hill also receive €500 worth of gardening equipment and one year’s mentorship from a GIY gardener in their area.

A huge thank you to all who took part in this year’s innocent and GIY Sow & Grow. Happy growing. 

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Sow & Grow is back

The innocent and GIY Sow & Grow is back and this year will get 20,000 kids all over Ireland, growing their own. Growing their own vegetables is not only fun, but more importantly, it teaches kids where their food comes from and helps them to eat healthier. Lots of studies show that food growing children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables, show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition and are more likely to continue healthy eating habits throughout their lives.

We make it really easy for schools to get involved by sending out simple to use growing packs with seeds, growing cups, soils and guides for 30 kids.

Every class that gets involved are in with a chance to win some great prizes including; a day trip to Bloom where they will be presented with their prize by campaign patron Donal Skehan. The winning school will receive €500 worth of growing equipment and one year’s mentorship from GIY.

innocent and GIY Sow & Grow

Last week with kicked off the project with last year’s winners, St Kevin’s GNS, Kilnamanagh. The very lovely Donal Skehan was on hand to show the girls how to make a delicious salad out of the kale that they’d grown.

innocent and GIY Sow & Grow

Donal used his food wizardry to get fifty 8 year olds to try kale. Here’s the tasty recipe.

What you’ll need:
• 250kg kale
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 25g dried cranberries, chopped finely
• 25g pine nuts, roasted
• 4-5 spring onions, chopped finely
• 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped finely
• olive oil
• salt and pepper

Remove the stalks from the kale and roll each leaf before chopping in to fine strips. Place in a large bowl, add the lemon juice and 2-3 pinches of sea salt. Massage the kale with the juice and salt until it starts to soften a little, making sure all the leaves are coated. Sprinkle with olive oil and leave it to sit for another 10 minutes to soften further. Before serving add the cranberries, pine nuts, celery and spring onion and stir well. Serve to a pack of hungry

(Recipe from Dorcas Barry)

innocent and GIY Sow & Grow

To get your school involved in the innocent and GIY Sow & Grow, you can register here. All our growing packs were snapped up but schools can still take part by uploading their growing diaries. 

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Power to the people in Peru

This is Ravelina, you may recognise her and her family from such video’s as our ‘Chain of not Good’.

How did Ravelina & her family become the stars of our new Chain of not Good video? The innocent foundation has worked with Practical Action in Peru for the past 4 years. Practical Action use technology, such as safe sanitation, renewable energy and clean water to help poverty around the world. They helped Ravelina and her family get a Solar panel, which gave their home electricity which enabled her to power her electric spinner, so she could make more wool to sell at the market which helped her support her family.

You can click here to check out more stories from the innocent foundation, which are made possible because our drinkers buy our drinks. So remember don’t break the chain of good. #tastesgooddoesgood

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