Croke Park is the only stadium in the world to have its own farm, where turf is grown for the famous pitch. It takes center stage in a brand new RTÉ series next week called Home Grown, which celebrates the Irish horticulture industry, and is presented by two of the sector’s dedicated advocates, Kitty Scully and Colm O’Driscoll.
In the first episode on RTÉ1 on Monday at 8 pm, Colm visits the Croke Park farm in Dublin, while Kitty meets cut foliage producer James Costelloe of Irish Green Guys, based in Tralee, whose branches and leaves are used by top florists in the UK and other parts of Europe.
Also, in the opening episode, Colm meets specialized fourth-generation carrot producer Emmett Dunne in Durrow, Co Laois, who grows both conventional and organic crops. The program ends with Kitty visiting the stunning Kilmacurragh Gardens in Co Wicklow, renowned for its amazing rhododendrons.
As well as stories about the different growers and producers, there are visits to inspirational gardens that are open to the public, recognizing the fact that, partly as a result of Covid, there has been a surge of interest in gardening. Horticulture is the science and technology of plant cultivation, and the industry in Ireland encompasses both food production and the production of ornamental plants and trees.
It is an important sector too, with an estimated 6,600 people employed full-time in primary production activity and a further 11,000 in value added and downstream businesses such as wholesale, retail, distribution, landscape, and garden design; and construction, as well as local authority and county councils and parks and landscaping services.
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