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Future Proof Kilkenny

Map of old Kilkenny showing locations of former orchards

The first meeting of the steering group took place on Wed 14th in the BNS basement. We started off with a short introduction from everybody on their background, organisation and why they wished to be involved. There is a great diversity of interests including;

  • local food promotion
  • networking with other groups
  • promoting wildlife and beautifying the city
  • educating on food for children
  • promoting community and creating a lasting legacy for future generations,
  • expanding the work of Irish seed savers
  • cross community projects
  • art and theatre input
  • celebrating 400 years of kilkenny
  • raising awareness of climate change and peak oil and the need to reduce food miles and promote local self reliance.


    Using a transition town facilitation technique known as “the board game” a flip chart page was divided into 4 sections called dreaming, planning, doing and celebrating. Ideas that arose were categorised into each box.

    Dreaming (in no particular order)
    Underplant with bulbs
    Photograph and film the project
    KCLR special documentary
    Community ownership to avoid vandals
    Get youth included
    Different groups and communities
    Look for a certain number of groups and also churches
    40 orchards of 10 trees
    Sponsorship form from businesses
    Kylemore Abbey as an example (have done something similar, see form here)
    Dublin road approach as a possible site (KCLR support)
    Cider & Damsons
    Grafting course
    Make it an annual event
    Apple pressing during food festival
    Possibility of Ag funding
    Have a tour of Kilkenny showing where all the old orchards use to be

    Locations and spaces to be identified
    ISSA can supply trees (special offer due to large order)
    Rootstock selection and Kilkenny soil to be taken under consideration
    Rothe house for list of old Kilkenny varieties
    Contact schools and businesses
    Contact parts of a school and members of community groups

    Two separate plantings, spring and autumn.
    KKB plant trees anyway (usually 200-300 per year)
    2-3 varieties in a group of 10
    Advice and instruction on soil preparation/fencing.
    Draw up a sponsorship form/package
    Draw up a list of possible sites
    Identify sites that may have been orchards in times past
    Identify 4-6 sites for spring planting
    Spring planting will act as an official launch of the project
    Get onto council re planting sites, cable/pipes
    Write a description and press release of the project
    Launch 2nd week march Saturday 14th
    Autumn planting during organic week
    Possible spring sites; Castle park, Seville Lodge, Loretta, Corporate – chamber

    Use the fruit
    Community cider project
    Apple pressing day during food festival
    Loretta is also celebrating 400 years
    Include the Traveller women project
    Local food celebration day

    Actions Points

    The next step is to assign names to specific tasks and we have agreed to try and complete the following before the next meeting:

    • Look into photographing and/or filming the project
    • Contact KCLR re a special documentary
    • Contact churches and introduce project
    • Investigate Kylemore abbey sponsorship form etc
    • Get pricing from ISSA
    • Get list of suitable heritage varieties that once grew in Kilkenny
    • Introduce project to KKB members
    • Develop a soil prep course for planters
    • Draw up a sponsorship form/package
    • Write a description of the project so that we can start approaching people with documentation
    • Find out when Organic Week is
    • Put planting dates into 400 civic celebration diary
    • Investigate apple pressing
    • Investigate castle park site
    • Investigate Seville lodge site
    • Investigate Loretta site
    • Investigate corporate/chamber

    Next Meeting

    Wed 28th Jan, BNS office, 10pm – 11:30pm

    If you wish to attend this meeting, get involved in any of the above or have more ideas to add please email brian[at]

    4 Comments to “400 Fruit Tree Update #1”

    1. on 17 Jan 2009 at 12:13 pmCathy Fitzgerald

      Hi Brian

      What a great project and how exciting it has built up so much momentun – Brian if you are looking for someone to film/document project you are more than welcome to post the idea on the ArtLinks,ie forum asking for art/fimmakers to participate.


    2. on 17 Jan 2009 at 2:34 pmPaul

      Hi Cathy,
      Thats a great suggestion, I see ArtLinks has over a thousand members now (well done on that). I’m sure the 400 Trees project would receive much from such a mass of creative wealth.

    3. on 21 Jan 2009 at 11:12 pmBrian

      Notes on 400 Fruit Tree Lunch Meeting 21st Jan 2008


      Brian Dillon, Malcolm Noonan, Elinor Mountain, Claire Murphy, Oonagh Duggan, Stewart


      Kilkenny CoCo will support 400 Fruit Tree project as part of their tree planting scheme
      Project will be launched during Tree Week
      Planting of “launch” orchards to be brought forward to March 7th
      Council site will be investigated for possible official launch
      Advertisements will be made throughout the year for applicants who wish to obtain/plant an orchard
      Applicants will have to attend a training course on orchards/after care etc
      Advertisements will go alongside with sponsorship and gift cards etc
      A number of possible sites of the Match Launch include:
       Castle Garden – Claire to investigate
       Loreto College – Malcolm
       Kilkenny College
       Model School – Malcolm
       Seville Lodge
       Council site (back of city hall?) – Stewart

      A short discussion took place on the exciting possibility of a community garden in Bishops palace. This is being organised by Oonagh and Malcolm. There could be a tie in with the fruit tree project, if not this year, then certainly next year.

      Next Meeting:

      Wed 28th 10am-11:30am, BNS, High St.

    4. on 03 Feb 2009 at 11:20 pmConor

      Hi all,
      Irish seedsavers have a good site with tasty apple varieties that have survived hundreds of years in our climate ( )
      If this is going to be a multi-year project it would be worth looking into planting nut trees too, some have a much longer lead time than fruit (e.g. walnuts – good for the 500 year celebreations when we’re all gone?? ) and some native ones have a quicker time-to-fruiting (e.g. hazelnuts – good for getting kids involved) .

      Best Regards,

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