Forest Garden Demo Project


planted on April 12th 2017


with an INTRODUCTION To EDIBLE FOREST GARDENING AND AGROFORESTRY – PUBLIC TALK – held on FRIDAY 10th at 7-9pm in the Westside Youth Centre by Istvan Markuly, Permaculture Advisor


The FOOD FOREST was developed during a COMMUNITY PLANTING DAY SUNDAY APRIL 12th between 2-6pm

The aim was to create a Food Forest Demonstration Garden in the Westside Amenity Park (located between the Circular Rd. and Siobhan McKenna Rd) to act as prototype for other areas and community spaces in the city and elsewhere.

This is a new Sustainable Food and Permaculture project for the Westside neighborhood consisting of a community food ethos with the planting of native trees, a variety of fruit trees, soft fruit bushes, and edible shrubs, alongside many perennial and annual edibles and medicinal herbs.

The multiple benefits we are looking for from this self sustaining food and Permaculture system, are freshly produced local organic food for locals and visitors biodiversity rich food habitats for wildlife and pollinators, beneficial nitrogen fixing, mineral accumulation soil supporting plants, diversity of edible crops, fruits, herbs and vegetables insectary and nectary sources as well as protecting, nurturing and replenishing our soil.

In this project, we wished to explore and highlight how we can feed ourselves and live more sustainably using restorative agrecology and regenerative ecological design practices, that reflect the interconnectedness between our life and food systems and support collective community action.

Through a series of arts and public interventions, talks, workshops, community plantings and samplings, the aim is to raise awareness of issues of Agroforestry, Permaculture, Sustainable Community Food Systems, Restorative Agroecological farming practices, Food Sovernigty and provide free fresh organic food for use by the local community.

The project aims to highlight the emerging opportunities in Galway supporting the shift towards more sustainable living practices in food production, consumption, prevention of food waste and by utilising permaculture and community design principles engaging diversified agroecolgical systems for a more sustainable future.



Current Project support and members include  – Roisin Ni Fhaolain, Elodie Rein, Martina Finn, Lisa Reinbjeek, Permaculture Advisor Hannah Mole, Conservation Volunteers Galway and Westside Youth Project


The Forest Garden planting project is part of an ongoing activist art, food sovernigty and permaculture project that aims to introduce and support local Community responses in tackling climate change.

Food production and consumption and food waste is now recognised as the most pressing global issue, with Agriculture too important, to be left to the interests of agri-businesses. “Farming is not about making profit at any cost – it is about supporting the communities and sustaining the ecosystems of where it takes place. Food and agriculture systems are collective responsibilities and we must all engage with these issues to ensure the land and landscape can nurture future generations”

The group wish to raise awareness and demonstrate in this project how much more possible it is to feed ourselves locally, switching to a plant based diet and highlighting the huge potential of agroecology to fix our broken food systems, restore and repair damaged landscapes.

Local food represents a serious alternative to the global food model, as It reduces food miles, greenhouse emissions, our pressure on the environment, and educates our children of where food actually comes from.

With Galway awarded the EU Region of Gastronomy in 2018, the group hope to create more opportunities for Communities across the City and County to build on this project, and include regenerative agroecolgy and Agroforestry practices for a more sustainable future for the region.

This project ideas for a City and County wide Food Forest and Edible Landscape Project arose following invitation to make a submission to the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture bid.

Forest Gardening in general has three main intentions; to produce high yields of food and other materials; to create a self maintaining resilient garden and also to promote healthy ecosystems.

It is the art and science of putting plants together in woodland patterns that forge mutually beneficial relationships. In this project we aim to be guided by the ethics and principles of Permaculture, emulating nature and working in harmony with the will of the land itself. Permaculture as a movement has most of the knowledge, tools and resources that we need to create a healthy regenerative society, which is not only the growing of crops, but the discovery of new ways of thinking, seeing, acting and being in the world.

By working in harmony with natural rhythms and cycles we can take our place in kinship with nature and each other as opposed to our present position of the exploitation and destruction of the natural world.

We believe the garden is a key to the transformation of the social fabric of the City and County which has the potential to bring meaning and integrity to our arts, culture and food systems.

We advocate for the development and support of innovative cultural and community food initiatives that support right livelihoods, seek improvements in our food systems, that restores and nurtures the earth and demonstrates equitable access to quality local organic food.

This project is made possible with the generous support of Galway City Council, NYCI Galway, Westside Youth Project, Westside Community Garden, Galway City Partnership, Conservation Volunteers Galway, Galway Roscommon Education Training Board GRETB and Let’s Get Galway Growing, HSE

For more information on this and other projects please feel free to contact email /

Third Space is a Galway based, grassroots, arts and research collective, an interdisciplinary and community space for critical reflection and creative practice, that can be viewed as a public intervention; a forum at the heart of a community venture.

Our objective is to foster and cultivate a deeper awareness of art in relation to all aspects of contemporary life and culture, acting as a platform for action research, participative and socially engaged arts practices and public engagement

For this current project we aim to be creative in exploring how to influence local food policy, production and consumption, to follow best practice in developing a local healthy, sustainable and resilient food system, and through learning about our interconnected and interdependent world, imagining and co creating more humane, just and viable ways to live in the world.

We aim to build on partnerships in Galway between arts, culture, food and the environment through liaising with statutory, community, youth and voluntary groups, educational institutions and NGOs. We advocate for the development and support of innovative cultural and community food initiatives that support right livelihoods, seek improvements in our food systems, that restores and nurtures the earth and demonstrates equitable access to quality local organic food.

Galway Food Project Action Plan outlines a number of goals for achieving a healthy food system:

1. Healthy Food For All
2. Grow Local
3. Strengthen the Local Economy
4. Prevent Food Waste

5. Education

Heart Tonics

Istvan Markuly-Lead Facilitator
Istvan was born and grew up in a beech forest in Hungary.

He studied painting and art in Hungary, and ran a building company until he went travelling in 2001. During his travels he has been involved in numerous Permaculture and organic farming projects, with experience working in diverse European climates from the northern cold humid climate to southern Mediterranean.
He has been living in Ireland since 2006, where he developed a property service business specialising in sustainable living, house retrofitting and land management to provide better living spaces for clients and training for employees. He has lived off-grid, providing his own energy, water & food security – this gave him more connection to the land and to his local community and to realise the importance of educating people, in particular from a community perspective, working on community development projects; waste management, water harvesting, food waste and food rescue, community forestry, fairshare favour exchange, community gardens, and school gardens.

Currently he is working on establishing and growing the permaculture network in West Cork, Ireland and initiating Permaculture Waves across the country. He provides Permaculture design services, supporting growers, restaurants, private properties, hotels, farms, community development projects, to become more productive. He is co founder of Earth Environmental Education sustainable education programme.
He has taken PDC’s and Permaculture workshops internationally and continues to grow and share his knowledge.

Fruiting Trees include…

Apple Sunset Apple Red Falstaff Apple Katy Apple Grenadier Apple Lough Tree of Wexford Apple Kilkenny Pearmain Apple Bramley Seedling Apple Egremont Russet Apple Winston Pear Emile D’Heyst Pear Conference Plum Victoria Damson Merryweather Quince Vranja Medlar Nottingham Alnus glutinosa Alnus glutinosa Crataegus monogyna Cytisus scorparius Nitrogen Fixing  Quince quince A St JulienA Elaeagnus umbellata, Nitrogen Fixing, Colutea arborescens
Carragana arborescens Nitrogen Fixing Herb mix

Supplier, Future Forests Kealkill Bantry Co Cork P75 H958