Skills Courses

Learn About Wild Food, Foraging and More

Mushroom Hunts Wild Food Summer School

For the latest Fungi Workshops with Blackstairs Ecotrails Visit  https://www.blackstairsecotrails.ie/fungi/


he-Forager-Handbook-Edible-BritainWild Food Summer School – There was  the chance to forage with  Miles Irving Author of the Forager’s Handbook – The Bible for foragers,  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

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

Weekend in the Hills

CELT Weekend in the Hills – 2 days of traditional craft workshops.   Courses include:

Woodcarving, Súgán Chair, Adventure Bushcraft, Leatherwork, Sheepskin Tanning, Spinning, weaving & Dyeing, Mosaic, Herblore, Meet the Bees and more… 

Once known as Weekend in the Woods, this popular two day event is now held at Slieve Aughty Centre, an eco friendly and certified organic venue, situated 10 km outside Loughrea town in county Galway. A busy equestrian and activity centre, the venue has ample space for parking, camping and even has 9 glorious bedrooms and two lodges for those who wish to experience some luxury for a night or two. Meals are prepared by the team at Slieve Aughty Centre, and must be booked in advance. You can email or ring them on 090 9745 246.

NEXT EVENT September 28th & 29th! at Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co Galway.

One day courses: €72.50/adult 
Two day courses: €145/adult course, €85/child 
NEW family rate: €410 for two adults and two children 
All courses now include organic lunch!

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Those attending the events, spend one or two days (depending on the course) learning their chosen skill. Most students go home with a finished piece, although this is not the objective of the event. The aim is to teach the techniques and skills needed to go home and persue the craft or subject studied over the weekend. 

Saturday begins at 9am with registration and a short introduction. Courses start at 10am and finish up at about 5pm each day. Lunch is usually at 1pm. Súgán chair usually goes over time on the Sunday evening, sometimes as late as 8pm in order to complete all chairs. Saturday night is  spent around the camp fire telling tales and singing, so remember to bring your instruments and warm up your vocal chords! 

For all course booking enquiries please email Jenny at celtskills@gmail.com or call her on 086 321 4929.

For accommodation and meal enquiries please email Esther at info@slieveaughtycentre.com 

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!