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Summer’s bountiful harvest is celebrated in Colin

Colin Neighbourhood Partnership annual allotment festival.
Fruit and veg seller Ruaidhri McCorry. Colin Neighbourhood Partnership annual allotment festival. Fruit and veg seller Ruaidhri McCorry.
By Michael Jackson

THE strong green-fingered growers at Colin Allotments celebrated a successful end of summer harvest on Thursday by sharing the bountiful fruits (and vegetables) of their labour with the local community.
The Colin Harvest Festival brought people from all over the community together for the celebration. Visitors were treated to displays from traditional musicians, the Colin Men’s Shed, Belfast Beekeeper’s Association, and, of course, the gardeners themselves.
This year’s harvest produced a colourful cornucopia of fruit and veg – a beautiful, healthy and tasty reward for all of the allotment owners’ hard graft.
Michael George, from Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, hailed their success, stating it was “the best year yet” for the allotments.
“This is all great produce from the allotment holders themselves and we have local honey from the hives on site,” he said.
“We have all of these different organisations here giving advice and information about growing and sustainable living.
“This is a very important project for the Colin area because it’s helping local people grow their own vegetables, and stay healthy. We want to promote sustainable living. With Brexit coming along, fruit and vegetables are getting dearer every day.
“I have a plot here myself and I’ve eaten the vegetables from the plot all summer. It’s a money saver, it’s organic, you can taste the difference and it keeps you healthy too.”
He continued: “I couldn’t get over the displays. The last couple of years have been good, but this is the best year yet. The community are really into it – it’s a great celebration.”
Belfast’s first citizen, Cllr Deirdre Hargey, who came along to judge the stunning displays, said: “It’s a brilliant day. When you’re up here and you see the scale of the allotments in the Colin area it’s amazing. It’s brilliant for the city, it’s brilliant for the community and our young people.
“It teaches people to grow their own food – healthier food, more natural food – and encouraging people to actually eat fruit and veg.
“You can see that the demand for this community activity is growing too.
“It’s particularly important when you look at the health issues in the city relating to diet including obesity. This helps change the culture of unhealthy eating.”

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