Community: There are several ways in which we incorporate community spirit into practice (and our spirits) at Stillgarden. Of course, we have our community garden and Social Botanist Project, where members of the community help us to grow the garden botanicals we use in our drinks, as well as keeping the space welcoming and tidy for anyone who’d like to stop by or use some of the herbs for their dinner. The Social Botanists go on regular foraging trips into the surrounding area to harvest wild botanicals that are used to create small-batch drinks for them to enjoy, as well as helping out with our bi-annual community cleanups of the Goldenbridge Estate.
Not only is this a great opportunity for us to clean up some of the more unkempt areas that surround the distillery, but these cleanups present an opportunity for anyone who’d like to get involved, Dublin City Council, local businesses, and community environmental and tidy towns groups to meet and spend time with like-minded people who also care about their area. When these community spaces are used and given attention, as we’ve seen with the garden, litter becomes far less of an issue. These cleanup days are unique and special times when we come together to regenerate a neglected space. In a time as lonely and socially disconnected as a global pandemic, that feels particularly rewarding.
Our community is particularly showcased in our Spent-spresso Martini bottled cocktail, which uses spent coffee grounds from our neighbours, Boom Coffee, to create a vacuum distilled coffee vodka using our rotovap. I also collect coffee grinds to use in the garden on my daily commute from our friends at Unfiltered Coffee Co and Greenville Deli. This adds nitrogen to the soil and improves its quality. Our fruit trees, potatoes, and blueberries are very grateful for the nutritional boost.
It’s not just Stillgarden in Inchicore doing our bit for the community. Recently, the beautiful Turvey Park won the Excellence in Placemaking Award for Dublin Community Projects, awarded by the Urban Land Institute and CBRE. Julie McCormick, Mary Moriarty, and their own “Social Botanist” team of community gardeners, transformed the park from a forsaken and rather intimidating patch of green into what is now a blooming delightful community area. These awards also gave an honourable mention to the Inchicore Environmental Group for the InchicOrchard project, which has planted many fruit trees around the village parks, green spaces, and along the canal. You can still find fruit on some of them now around Grattan Crescent Park.
Our own garden was recently given an award a second year in a row by Dublin City Council. As reflected in our own efforts, and in the various projects and initiatives from Inchicore’s active abundance of environmental and gardening groups, there is plenty of community spirit in Inchicore.