Michael Kelly


Michael Kelly's picture
Name: Michael Kelly
Organization: GIY
Title: Founder
Michael is catalyzing a global community of food growers to create a healthy, happy and sustainable world where land, food and people are fully nourished. The Grow It Yourself (GIY) movement brings people together in community groups and online to inspire and support each other to grow food. It has resurrected the traditional Irish notion of the “meitheal,” a practice that builds a spirit of community by working collectively on individual projects— much like a barn-raising—to exponentially increase the number of people with the skills to grow their own food. Through this community approach, capitalizing on the expertise of mavens in the area, Michael has quickly expanded the network of local GIY groups to over 100 with over 50.000 people involved in GIY programmes and projects in 2013. GIY has provided a grassroots, tangible structure to the local food movement and channeled products, knowledge and nutrition into the food chain. Committed to wide-scale spread, Michael has structured GIY to be action-oriented and dynamic, eschewing the cost- prohibitive membership model and allowing organic growth. GIY groups have sprouted up in major cities, small towns, and isolated rural areas, as well as in company offices like Microsoft and more. The program applies as much to city dwellers creating balcony gardens as people living in small towns and villages, and can be easily integrated into existing initiatives such as Transition Towns groups or community center offerings. Many local organic farms and growing centers across Ireland now host GIY meetings at their facilities. Tapping into social networking, Michael offers local groups opportunities to connect with others around the country, and has built a structure that allows painless adoption, offering mavens a platform and guiding local champions to launch branches in their own communities.

Challenge Entries

Mar 27, 2014 / 0 Comments / in Food, Health education, Education, Wellness

Research shows that when children grow some of their own food, they gain a deeper understanding of food, which leads to increased knowledge of nutrition, and long term dietary and wellbeing improvements. The innocent GIY Sow & Grow schools campaign gives up to 100,000 children a simple classroom food-growing experience to develop food empathy and promote wellbeing.

Jun 17, 2013 / 1 Comments / in Food, Health care, Sustainability, Urban

GIY HQ is a globally replicable model for sustainable food production & urban agriculture being co-created by GIY, Waterford City Council and other partners. It will be a centre of excellence for homegrown and local food, a training centre, farm shop, cafe and urban food garden.

GROW HQ is a food empathy project being created by GIY (Grow it Yourself), an emerging global network of 50,000 food growers. It is a place where people can come to learn about home-grown food, and to grow, cook, and eat it. GROW HQ is a training centre, farm shop, cafe and urban food garden.