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GIY Profile of Paudie Coffey

Paudie Coffey is a Fine Gael TD representing the Waterford Constituency. He is a Member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment.

Where do you do GIY?

I started GIY two years ago when I built two raised vegetable beds and placed them in the back garden. I simply purchased decking planks in the local DIY store, screwed them together and filled them with soil.

Why do you GIY?

I have three children aged between four and nine. The reason I started was purely for fun and to see what we could grow between us. The GIY website was a great source of information for us beginners.

What do you grow?

We have grown lettuce, spring onions (what we used to know as "scallions" growing up) and carrots.

Your favourite vegetable to eat or grow...

My favourite vegetables to eat are carrots but I eat most veg and I think I'd like to try growing some cabbage this year.

Your favourite GIYing moment each year and why?

After just two years doing GIY I discovered that no year is the same. My first year was very successful where I had a rich harvest of lettuce, spring onions and carrots but to be honest last year I discovered that it's not always easy going as I didn't have the same level of growth in vegetables as the previous year.

Your most useful gardening tool...

To be honest, most of our work we (myself, my wife and the three children) did with our hands. It was important to have the spade and rake nearby for some of the heavier work.

What do you know now about GIYing that you didn't know last year?

I know that every season and year brings new challenges. I placed too many lettuce seeds close together and had to do a lot of thinning. As previously stated, my first year was very successful but not so last year.

My finest hour in in the veg patch was.....

When the children went and freshly picked lettuce and onions for a salad in the summer evenings – to see the joy on their faces when it was washed and served up – far tastier too than what you'd buy in the shops.

Which "Good Life" cast member are you?

I'm probably a mixture between Jerry and Tom – still ambitious career-wise but also a strong proponent of sustainable practices in the home and workplace. Maybe we'll get a few hens this year.....

Source: GIY - GIY Profile of Paudie Coffey