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Duncan Stewart holds Co-op Community Co-op's Eileen Toomey aloft after he was impressed by the Kitchen facility

East Clare Community Kitchen Opens to Visitors

EAST Clare Community Co-op has now opened the first half of their new LEADER funded training and enterprise kitchen, known as Sustenance.

The initiative has been four years in the making with the idea being formed in 2010 and leading to the completion of a feasibility study, drawing up plans, consulting the Environmental Health Office on best practice, researching energy efficient measures and getting all relevant permissions to build it. The building and equipping is the final phase and the micro enterprise unit will open after Easter for bookings.

The community kitchen is already attracting visitors from all over Ireland interested in the facility and who are looking to build something similar in their own communities. Recently visitors from North Kilkenny, who are involved in gardening and social enterprise projects through the Castlecomer demesne, were impressed with this community led project.

Other visitors included Duncan Stewart who paid an impromptu visit to the facility and was very impressed.  “He gave it the thumbs up and said that East Clare is far ahead of the population in grasping the importance of the realities of climate change and a post cheap oil era. The rainwater harvesting in the garden the composting area and the energy efficiency have ensured the facility is somewhat future proofed against the rising water and energy costs coming down the line,” Fionnuala outlined.

Next month, the community kitchen plans to host a new small holders market in Scariff running weekly from May 2 and continuing every Friday thereafter.  “Research has shown that visitors to the area and locals alike want high quality locally produced food as the links between poor diet and poor health become apparent,” Fionnuala concluded.

For more details about the community co-op or community kitchen visit www.eastclarecommunitycoop.com or telephone 061-921536.

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