Visitors to this year’s Cork Summer Show will be able to avail of free horticultural tips from the gardening experts of Down Syndrome Cork’s Field of Dreams and to bring home souvenir potted herbs in fully compostable cups.
When the Cork Summer Show returns to the showgrounds in Curraheen on June 18 and 19, one stand is likely to be busier than others, as students from Down Syndrome Cork’s Field of Dreams will be on hand to offer free advice to budding gardeners.
The students will show visitors how to plant herbs and will advise on how best to care for potted plants.
The herbs will be planted in fully compostable cups which were designed free of charge by Forge Hill-based Cork company down2earth.
This joint venture is just the latest collaboration between the Munster Agricultural Society, which runs the show, and its charity partner Down Syndrome Cork, and for the past five years Field of Dreams has leased its three-acre site from the showgrounds in Curraheen for a nominal rent of €1 per month.
The Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams was established in 2017 to meet the ongoing educational needs of adults with Down syndrome, and offers a broad range of programmes for its students, including literacy and technology skills, ready-to-work training, and a field-to-fork scheme teaching horticultural and cooking skills.
Debbie Kelleher, care co-ordinator with Down Syndrome Cork Field of Dreams, said their students were looking forward working at their stand at the show.
“This is an opportunity to showcase the skills of our students and to allow them to advocate for themselves and to practice their retail skills on the public,” Ms Kelleher said.
“We would be delighted if people drop by our stand and say hello.”
Robert Harkin, president of the Munster Agricultural Society, said the society was delighted to be working so closely with its charity partner.
The annual two-day Cork Summer Show, which returns after a two-year break forced by the Covid-19 pandemic, has been a fixture of Cork’s calendar since it first debuted in 1806.
The Munster Agricultural Society expects that upwards of 20,000 visitors from the city, county, and beyond will attend the agricultural show each day.
This year’s enhanced festival — which will have competitions, exhibitions, entertainment and fun for all the family — will feature traditional livestock and craft competitions; show jumping; demonstrations in cookery, farriery, floral arranging, and walking-stick making; as well as drone racing, a funfair and live music.
Visitors from the city are encouraged to avail of the park-and-ride buses from Black Ash and Ballincollig Shopping Centre, or take Bus Éireann’s 208 route directly to the showgrounds.
There will be free parking onsite, and the showgrounds are wheelchair and buggy accessible, with free entry for children under 12 years old.
For further information, see corksummershow.com