‘Volun-Tourism’ Program 2016
Crann Og Eco Farm, County Galway, Ireland
Volunteering at a Gold Certified Eco-tourism venue in the West of Ireland…
1: Willow Harvest & Nature School Development: February 17th – March 6th 2016
Two volunteers required to help out on our farm! Couple or friends preferred but not essential.
Willow Harvest (Feb 17th – 28th ): We will be harvesting willow and we have enormous amounts of it! You will learn how to harvest and categorise willow, make fedges (fence/hedge) how to create willow domes and arches and even make your own dream catcher! You will be part of our crew on two “Working with Willow” workshops,February 20th– 21st & 27th – 28th
Nature School Development (Feb 29th – Mar 6th ): This work will be physical labour, some of it quite hard and heavy but rewarding. It will be muddy, is likely to be wet and it could be cold if the weather is unkind. You will be part of the crew to help prepare our new Nature Schooling site. This will involve the creation of a walkway through a small bog as well as clearing vegetation and setting up of Nature Schooling facilities such as low level climbing poles, low ropes, swings and slackline.
2: Organic Gardening & General Duties Volunteer(s): March 14th – April 4th (~ 3 weeks), April 12th – May 2nd (~ 3 weeks), May 10th – end of 31st October (you could stay several months but we require a minimum stay of one month at least!)
We are looking for general duties volunteer(s) to help our gardener with the organic/permaculture garden and general garden maintenance. In addition there will be other duties like farm work, cooking, preparing accommodation for tourists and general cleaning…………………just like the rest of us!
3: Organic Eco-Build Sauna: October 3rd – 24th (3 weeks)
We need one, possibly two volunteers for an eco, upscale-recycle build of an organic, rustic style sauna! We will be using pallets and tree poles, and natural materials like clay-straw for insulation and natural rendering. We aim to create an organic structure (think Lord of the Rings) with a reciprocal rafter roof structure and a turf or ‘living’ roof finish. You will be part of the crew for preparation of the build and assist us in delivering two weekend workshops during which we will complete the build!
Experience in natural building, general construction and knowledge of tools is highly beneficial! You will work hard, get your hands dirty and might get wet (it’s Ireland after all…)!
- Hard worker, preferably quiet, self-sufficient, non-drinker and non-smoker.
- Self-motivated & able to work alone & in a team & be comfortable taking instructions & able to execute them well!
How to Apply…
- Visit our website Voluntourism page, read all the detail about what we expect of you, what we give in exchange and our FAQ’s. Then email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone manager Paul on086 276 0680.
Leitrim Glens Hill Walking Festival
Stunning views and friendly locals are an integral part of the Annual North Leitrim Glens Hill Walking Festival. Based in Leitrim, a little known gem in Ireland’s North West, this festival guarantees visitors a genuine Irish welcome in some of the most beautiful locations in Ireland. Celebrating its 21st birthday this year, the festival is sure to delight all who take part.
Easter April 3-6th 2015
The lovely Nuala of Tawnylust Lodge (and Leitrim Landscaping Guided Walks) has a great offer for those looking to make a break of it!
Special walking offer at Tawnylust Lodge Eco Self-Catering >>
Learn Traditional & Ecological Skills
Weekend in the Hills Sept 13 / 14
CELT’s Traditional & Ecological Skills learning weekend.
We offer introductory courses in a wide variety of Traditional skills, our courses are taught by experienced dedicated tutors and held in partnership with eco-friendly Slieve Aughty Centre in the rolling forested hills of South Galway.
For details to book see www.celtnet.org or visit their Facebook Event here >>
CELT Courses Include:
2 courses for youngsters:
Holy (Moiled) Cow! Lough Bishop House, WestMeath
I am discovering that despite my long term belief that I am great at directions my sat nav (Grace), whilst useful is not to be relied upon! Or perhaps I should clarify – the broadband signal that ensures she tells me each turn to take can drop suddenly, thereby resulting in a never ending circular trip.
Thankfully we still have the art of conversation to fall back on so when I was approximately 1.5 minutes away from Lough Bishop House but somehow missing it for the second time, I rang Christopher who gave the the final required step. It turns out that the broadband had dropped at a ‘Turn Left’ step and thus the confusion.
Lough Bishop House is a welcoming farmhouse BandB located in Westmeath and run by Husband and Wife team Christopher and Helen Kelly.
A working Organic Farm, Lough Bishop House attracts clientele from all over the world looking for a bit of peace and quiet and to experience a working farm holiday break. They produce their own honey, make freshly pressed Apple juice and serve freshly laid BLUE hen eggs enjoyed by the delighted guests as part of their breakfast menu. For the fowl lovers amongst you the blue eggs are laid by their Aracauna and Cream Legbar hens. I can also vouch for Helens’ freshly baked bread smothered in their delicious honey!
But that’s not all to be that’s to be enjoyed at Lough Bishop House.
I had the unique pleasure of a off-road quadbike trip with Christopher driving and myself and Helen sitting like the ladies we are in the trailer behind along with her very cute dogs who joined us! We were taken around the farm where we met their Derrynagarra Irish Moiled Cattle, one of whom has since delivered a baby calf! This is especially good news as the Irish Moiled is still on the Rare Breeds Survival Trusts’ (RBST) Risk Watchlist.
The Irish Moiled is the rarest of the surviving domestic livestock native to Northern Ireland. They are a hornless (polled) breed that will produce hornless young when mixed with other breeds. This prevents the need to remove horns at all, a common requirement in commercial farming.
Helen has a huge passion for horses and breeds Irish Draught Horses, one of whom was also in foal at the time of our visit. The Irish Draught Horse developed as a working horse on Irish farms and is native to Ireland. After our spin around the farm I headed upstairs to my tastefully decorated room with lots of interesting art paintings to admire en route!
Whilst I very much enjoyed my Shepherds Hut experience at Rock Farm Slane yesterday the knowledge that there were other people in the same building as me tonight was comforting! Helen and Christopher invited me to join them for dinner which I happily did and the food was delicious as much of it was sourced directly from the garden. We had a good laugh as we chatted about eco tourism, the internet, and Ireland in general.
As a farm holiday or simply a break away from the normal hustle and bustle of city life I can highly recommend Lough Bishop House Bed and Breakfast with such welcoming hosts Christopher and Helen Kelly in beautiful surroundings.
Lough Bishop House will be hosting some exciting new events over the coming months so do keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates!
For contact details and social media links to Lough Bishop House Click Here >>
Listen to our ‘Cuppa Tae’ Chat here: https://soundcloud.com/ecoactive/a-chat-with-helen-kelly-of-lough-bishop-house
EcoTour Kindly Sponsored By
Leaving the beautifully fragranced Burren Perfumery behind I decided to stop by Leen Organics en route to my next scheduled visit. Jason from Leen Organics had contacted me on Twitter a week or so before to drop by and indeed earlier that day to remind me – how could I say no!?
Leen Organics offer Eco Accommodation in the form of two adjacent houses built using eco friendly materials and well appointed with stoves, great cooking facilities and heated by easy to use wood pellet burners.
The rooms are all rustic yet beautifully cosy and the garden offers plenty of room for kids to play. The accommodation and garden are nice and private and the kids (grown ups too) can enjoy the experience of feeding the hens if they like.
Jason and Noelle can organise a nice welcome basket of veg (upon request) to cook up for a super healthy lunch or dinner – and tasty to boot!
This I know as I was lucky enough to arrive at lunchtime and was treated to possibly the best lunch I have had on my EcoTour of Ireland with Noelles ‘Fainted Iman Stuffed Aubergine’ dish and her garlic flatbread (I didn’t want to leave!) #FoodieAlert!
Foodies and nature lovers looking for a relaxing getaway will love this little gem of a place!
Leen Organics grow organic vegetables which they sell at the local market in Ennis and through a few local suppliers.
This video from Jasons mate Ferg gives a nice overview of the place:
“Ferg meets up with fellow organic grower Jason Horner to help build a new polytunnel, before heading out for a session at Rileys”:
Here is a version of the Aubgergine recipe for your eating pleasure 🙂 >>
Listen to our EcoTour Audio with Jason Here >>
For contact details visit their Profile page here >>
EcoTour Kindly Sponsored By
Large Scale Cob projects – 10 & 11 May
Our friends at Carrig Dulra in Wicklow are holding a two day workshop this weekend teaching cobbing for large scale projects.
This course is ideal for those interested in natural build materials and potentially building their own eco home.
The two day workshop costs only €65 for one day or €120 for two days and can be booked here >>
Tutor: Colin Ritchie
At the end of 2010, Colin and his family moved into their 1,400 sq. ft. self-designed and self-built cob home. The following year, he formed Mud and Wood with his wife (and architect), Feile Butler.
Since then, they have taught numerous natural building workshops at the Mud and Wood House in Co. Sligo, at festivals and gatherings, and for private groups around the country from Co. Armagh to Co. Kildare.