My name is Kathy Grace and I have worked as an addiction councellor / therapist for the last 20 years. My work has brought me into contact with sufferers of many forms of addiction and has been rewarding in many cases but harrowing in others.
I have always grown my own food and I have always loved cooking for others, not only family and friends but as a volunteer in various kitchens that feed the homeless and those who are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
One day while making a batch of jam grown from berries on my allotment in Co. Wicklow, I was inspired with the idea of tying together the benefit and well being I have felt from working with nature, on the land and growing my own food and the healing therapy work I am involved in during my ‘day job’. I had the idea of founding an eco-friendly, holistic healing centre where people can come to experience the grounding and re-connection that are the essence of who we all are in our true selves. It seems to me that today people are losing their connection with the land, nature and their spirituality and this could explain the rise in mental illness and the increase in the use of medication. Having the experience of working with mentally ill people I know that medication has its place in recovery but a holistic approach to recovery has a better long term outcome.
Hawthorn Lane was born in April 2013! I took the name from my the name of my allotment in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow.
I started making the jams, chutneys, relishes and pestos and selling them in Farmers’ markets. Hawthorn Lane has gone from strength to strength and I was chosen as a South Dublin finalist on RTE’s Taste of Success in Summer 2014. From the contacts I made on the programme I now have to opportuntiy of going nationwide with 4 of my products. One would imagine that that is a wonderful thing but it where I have run into some difficulty getting over the next hurdle i.e. registering for barcodes, having official product analysis and production self life carried out. These are industry requisites and so I have to spend money to make money. My idea is to fund a residential healing centre from the proceeds of the business and give addiction sufferers the joy of working on the land, breathing in the fresh clean air, feeling the sun, seeing growth, feeling the happiness of harvesting & eating food that one grows oneself.