Events and Tours

Open Day at Bumblebee Flower Farm Sunday March 29th

Bumblebee Flower Farm located in beautiful West Cork is having an Open Day on Sunday March 29th!

This is a wonderful opportunity to experience Bumblebee Flower Farm and gain an insight into what we do and why we do things the way we do.

Introducing you to the wonderful world of edible flowers, pollinator-friendly plantings and organically produced seasonal cut flowers.

There will be an informative talk and tour of the farm with seeds and recommendation for supportive plantings no matter what size your garden is.

A lovely day and a chance to meet like-minded people.

The first in our series of Farm open Days – What to expect:

  1. Guided Tour of the farm.
  2. Talk on planting schemes including suitable plants and flowers that support the whole lifecycle.
  3. Selection of pollinator-friendly seeds for you to take home and create your very own magical bumblebee oasis.
  4. Refreshments available using Bumblebee Flower Farm ingredients.

Details:

  • Sunday, March 29th
  • Bumblebee Farm, Castledonovan, Drimoleague, Co. Cork, Ireland
  • Price: €25 (children accompanied by an adult Free)

Nature and Nurture Retreat with Sarah Fox

Nature and Nurture Yoga & Foraging Retreat, Kilkenny

How did you celebrate St Patricks’ Day?

I took myself along to Kilmacow in Co Kilkenny which is located on the the Waterford border for a unique restorative day with Sarah Fox of Shining Light Wellness.  Sarah runs a number of Yoga and Herbal Medicine Retreats throughout the country and teaches Yoga at many venues including Earthwise Yoga in Bree,Co Wexford where I recently did my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training.
Having trained with Sarah I knew about her indepth knowledge of plants and herbal medicine and this, along with ‘Yoga by the fire’ is what attracted me to this particular event. 
So, having arrived bright and early (thank goodness for Google Maps!) Sarahs’ lovely mum Mary welcomed me into the house where there was some very excellent coffee and homemade oat, orange and chocolate treats awaiting. Once all the guests had arrived we relaxed and had a chat over coffee/ homemade herbal teas, getting to know one another. I was personally delighted to see the lovely Orlaith, one my ex Yoga student colleagues there and without further ado we headed into the beautifully high ceiling Yoga room for a few hours of Chakra chanting and Yin Yoga.
Now, I for one was not a huge fan of chanting as it takes me outside my comfort zone, however, as Sarah explained each ‘seed’ word for each Chakra and what it related to I found myself enthusiastically joining in and literally began to feel my heart lighten and inner strength begin to vibrate and grow. When you attend a retreat like this it is good to remember that everyone is feeling a bit awkward at first so I do find it best to leave the ‘ego’ at the door and just jump in. 😉 
Bija ( Bija means seed) Mantras- The Sounds of the Chakras: LAM VAM RAM YAM HAM OM

  • “LAM”- chakra 1 (root)
  • “VAM”- chakra 2 (sacral/navel)
  • “RAM”- chakra 3 (solar plexus)
  • “YAM”- chakra 4 (heart)
  • “HAM”- chakra 5 (throat)
  • “OM”- chakra 6 (third eye/brow)
  • “OM”- chakra 7 (crown)

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Chanting was followed by some gorgeous Yin Yoga for joint and nervous system health, flexibility, mobility and integrity. We also used relaxation and breathing techniques where we held certain positions for a while enabling a full stretch and strengthening of the body before it was time for lunch.
Lunch was a delicious spread of homemade breads, fruits, banana pancakes (make using one banana, 2 eggs and a handful of oats), locally sourced jam and natural yoghurt. Seriously Yum! 
After lunch we headed out across the road to a nearby river for a spot of herbal medicine foraging. Sarah explained the uses of many plants including daisies – aerial parts all edible but also our national arnica (to relieve bruises)
She also explained how Plantain is good for tissues and anti-inflammatory thus also good for lung health and how Navel Wort (looks like a belly button plant) can be used as a natural Aloe Vera type plant. We gathered (after asking the plant first) some young nettles and headed back to the house for the creative part of the day.
Cosily ensconced in the kitchen dining room by a roaring fire Sarah proceeded to explain and demonstrate how to make a beautifully rich skin cream using dried marigold flowers, beeswax and organic sunflower oil – (she mentioned how grapeseed oil can help acne prone skin as an alternative to sunflower oil) which was blended together (again you will need to join Sarah on one of her workshops to find out the exact method) to form a delicious deep moisturising skincream- one which I lathered all over my body that evening and had the most restful sleep EVER waking up to feel supple and beautiful. Yay! 
We also made some amazing pesto using the nettles gathered earlier and mixed with some basil leaves, salt and pepper, cashew nuts, extra virgin olive oil and parmesan. Mmmm.  Sarah spoke of alternative ingredients as well as tinctures that can benefit a number of ailments including migraines. 
The conversation was of sharing and we swapped many recipes amongst ourselves one of which was a delicious sounding port for those of us who make sloe gin – using the gin soaked sloes after the sloe gin has been decanted and adding them to a mix of good quality red wine and brandy then leaving for 6 months or more for a stunning port. One I shall try this year….
After our homemade remedies we retired again to the Yoga room for a spell of active Yoga followed by a restful Yoga Nidra meditation to end the day. Dinner was to follow but I had to leave early unfortunately however it looked and smelt delicious – all vegetarian food – what a spread. Was gutted I had to leave but duty called. 
All in all I had a fantastic day and came home feeling inspired and happy. I recommend you check out Sarahs’ events on her Facebook page here as she offers a range of unique workshops and events sure to be of interest to many of our readers including one like this on April 14th – Booking essential!
Tell her we sent ya! 
Namaste! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Celt Traditional Skills Galway

CELT – Promoting Sustainable Living and Nature Conservation

CELT, founded in 2001, is a national charity for environmental education and training and is an award-winning
provider of training in traditional and ecological skills, focused on promoting caring for the environment and living in a sustainable manner by using locally sourced natural and recycled materials to make the things we need – tools, buildings, furniture, utensils, sports equipment and toys. 
The CELT ‘Weekend in the Woods’ events are held 2 – 3 times a year at Slieve Aughty Centre (Loughrea, Co. Galway) attracting 100’s of participants interested in learning ecological and traditional skills and knowledge and also because of the scenic rural location and opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in between learning modules.
CELT is a member of AONTAS (National Association for Adult Education), achieving Special Commendation in their
Star Awards (2007) and has won numerous awards from the Heritage Council for traditional skills training and for
biodiversity projects (every year, 2002 – 2014) and were also first runners-up in the national Green Awards 2013
and in the eco-communities section of the national Pride of Place competition 2014.

Weekend In The Hills, Festival of Traditional Crafts.

Join us for two days of traditional skills courses taught by some of the countries leading craftspeople.
May 11th and 12th 2019 at eco and organic destination Slieve Aughty Centre in county Galway. 

Book your place or give someone you love the gift of a CELT Gift Voucher for a course of their choice! 

Shop Online Here >>
Courses include:

In the meantime connect with us on:
Twitter: @celtnet ; Facebook /celtskills or visit us online at www.celtnet.org
 

Friday Night Tapas Slieve Aughty Galway

The Three Towers Eco House & Organic Kitchen and Slieve Aughty Centre

Get the gang together for a well earned Social! 

Friday Night Tapas Nights!

Friday’s, November 2018 – April 2019
Enjoy organic tapas, Spanish wine and music from 7 pm.
Booking is essential. Call 090 9745 246 for more info.
Slieve Aughty Centre is a family owned eco-friendly equestrian and activity leisure centre set on 17 acres of rugged Galway land. Guests have miles of trails for walking, cycling, horse riding and exploring nature as well as a stunning location for rejuvenation, relaxation and celebration!
Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co. Galway, Ireland.
Discover more about Slieve Aughty Centre Here >>

Activity breaks in Ireland

Family Fun, Activities and EcoTourism at Slieve Aughty Centre, Loughrea, Co Galway

Mixed Metals WorkshopSlieve Aughty Centre (which comprises also of the fabulous Three Towers Eco House and Restaurant)  has a great range of events and activities coming up over the next few months including:

Pizza Party Fridays Are Back!

Every Friday evening at 7pm enjoy a delicious organic pizza with your choice of toppings, fired up in our clay oven.  €5 per child and €10 for adults.  Book Now.
our-famous-pizza-parties
  For more information on any of the above contact 
Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co. Galway
+353 (0) 90 974 5246 www.slieveaughtycentre.com
Facebook: slieveaughtyequestrianandactivitycentre

Walking Tours and Holidays at Top Of The Rock

2016 Walking Tours in West Cork

Top Of The Rock Walking Tours (and pod park) have a number of interesting walks taking place throughout 2016 including:

St Finbarrs PathSt Finbarr’s Pilgrim Walk Easter Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th March 2016.
Leaving aside the spiritual benefits for a moment, this walk is a truly magnificient journey which goes “up and over” three mountain systems and four valleys, namely the Ilen, Mealagh, Ouvane and Lee valley basins.
Walking Breaks West CorkSheeps Head and St Finbarr’s Walking week 15th-20th May 2016:
A four day walking tour from the SHEEPS HEAD lighthouse to St Finbarr’s hermitage at GOUGANE BARRA, with five nights’ accommodation at the Top of the Rock Pod Páirc and Walking Centre.

Poets people and placesPoets people and places walking week 19th-24th June

A walking tour with Richard Whyte who has a huge love of poetry and all things to do with nature. As one walks with Richard he will pull just the right piece of poetry out of his top pocket and recite it on the spot.
Walking Holidays Ireland September 2016Walking the Sheep’s Head and St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Path for September Walking Week 18th-23rd September
A four day walking tour from the SHEEPS HEAD lighthouse to St Finbarr’s hermitage at GOUGANE BARRA, with five nights’ accommodation at the Top of the Rock Pod Páirc and Walking Centre designed to give you a taste for Irish life and landscape.
For more information on any of the above or to arrange a custom tailored walking tour visit Topoftherock.ie
 

EcoTourism Volunteer Programme

‘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 Willowworkshops,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…)!
You Are…

  • 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 ecostayireland@gmail.com or telephone manager Paul on086 276 0680.

 

Chill Out This Autumn

Chilled Out Seasonal Events This Autumn

Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the colours, the feeling of settling down for the winter and the slowing down of everything.
This does not mean an end to activities though as I love to take this reflective time to create and learn. With this in mind there are some lovely events coming up that may be of interest.
Autumn

Seaweed Cookery Demo with Marie Power

On Wednesday, the 14th of October at 8pm Marie Power, the Sea Gardener, will be giving a cookery demonstration and talk on the benefits of seaweed at Brownes Farmhouse Dungarvan. In response to requests from seaweed enthusiasts, she has developed a range of innovative sweet & savoury foods using seaweed, under The Sea Gardener label.
These will be available on the night!
More Details Here >>

Natural Cosmetic Making Workshops:

Vivienne Campbell is a much sought after herbalist who gives workshops on the uses of natural ingredients for cosmetics and wellbeing. She is holding two natural cosmetic making workshops this November, one in Gorey Co Wexford on 7th and one in Ennis Co Clare on the 1st November. These make great personal Christmas gifts too!
More Details Here >>

Natural Soap Making Workshop

I have a friend who makes her own soap and swears that it is addictive!  Nature lover & Holistic practitioner Angela Healy of Willow Cottage at Wells House is giving a one day soap making workshop on November 8th where you can learn how to make your own 100% natural moisturising coconut and olive oil soaps using the traditional cold process method.
More Details Here >>
sloes

Incidentally it’s also the time of year to make sloe gin and elderberry liquors... great gifts at any time of the year! Yum!

Here’s a great video on how to make Rose Hip Oil for your face too:

 
 

Mournes, Carlingford and Mour

We Love The Mournes!

Last Monday myself and my partner headed up North to visit The Mournes. Whilst we had originally planned to experience the walks and trails we had to cut our visit short.
Jennifer of eastcoastadventure.comWe had arranged to meet Jennifer Cumming of East Coast Adventure at Warrenpoint along the shores of Carlingford Lough. This was my first time to visit the area and as we arrived there was a large group of seriously excited TY students piling off a coach to begin a sea kayaking activity.
Jennifer had arranged to give us a tour around the various activities on offer at East Coast Adventure and so we set off.
mountainbikingEast Coast Adventure offer a range of outdoor activities for kids, teens, adults and groups with accommodation, camping, glamping, customised activities and more with trained friendly staff all along the shores of the very beautiful Carlingford Lough. The scenery is breathtaking and the facilities are second to none. There is so much on offer at East Coast Adventure that it actually took us 3 hours just to have a tour! Mind you we did get along like a house on fire and yapped away for ages – hard not to with such a friendly crew 🙂
mountain viewThe Mourne mountains themselves are a magnificant backdrop to the lough and one that I shall have to get my walking boots out for the next visit, hopefully fitting in a visit to The Mourne Lodge who cater specifically for walkers and hikers as well as nature enthusiasts and we look forward to meeting Mairead and the gang!
award winning breakfast at carlingford houseWe spent the night in Carlingford House B&B which offers  beautiful spacious rooms with comfy beds and an award winning breakfast in the morning. We weren’t disappointed. Peter and Irene were so welcoming and after being shown to our room we headed down for a bite to eat in the local village.
Carlingford of course is home to the world famous Carlingford Oyster Company and yes, I hang my head in shame that I simply forgot to order them! I will most definitely be back for these beauties.
Meeting Barra at the BBCOn Tuesday we headed to Belfast to meet with BBCNI Weatherman legend Barra Best for lunch – he of the flame hair like myself #Redheads 😉
Barra had some great suggestions for us to include on our next tour including the gobbins cliff walk  which looks really fun.
love mourneAll in all we simply HAVE to get back to the Mournes, we only got to see the tip of the iceberg and it really is so much MOUR(ne) than that!
Thanks again to Martin Carey and Mandy McAvoy of MourneLive.com for the invite.
Useful Sites for Visiting the Mournes and Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula are listed below:

In the words of Mr Schwarzenegger.. “I’ll Be Back” 

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Eco Trip Kindly Sponsored By

Ferrybank Motors Wexford Sponsor Eco Tour Ireland

Learn About Wild Food, Foraging and More

Wild Food Summer School 2015 #WFSS15

Blackstairs Ecotrails are holding their second Wild Food Summer School this September – 11,12 & 13th at the lovely ‘Old Rectory in Killedmond, Carlow.

They have added a number of new events and made it a much more family friendly event this year with a brilliant line up for kids on the Saturday and for all you foodies out there!
he-Forager-Handbook-Edible-BritainThere’ll be the chance to forage with  Miles Irving Author of the Forager’s Handbook – The Bible for foragers, on Friday at 11.20am, cheese making workshops, use of herbs and wild foods in cooking workshops, artisan food stalls, as well as GIY talks and Wild food & Craft Beer pairings!
For more information or to book your place visit  www.blackstairsecotrails.ie/wild-food-summer-school/
Tickets cost €60 (Friday only), €80 (Saturday only), €60 (Sunday only) or €190 for the full weekend. 

Wild Food Summer School 2015

More foraging, more great speakers, films, music,  Artisan Food stalls, Cheese making and  events for children. We also have a retrofitted ambulance  giving workshops on Up Cycling, Composting etc., facilitated by the Community Reuse Network Ireland (CRNI)
wildfood-summer-school