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.
Shop Online Here >>
In the meantime connect with us on:
Twitter: @celtnet ; Facebook /celtskills or visit us online at www.celtnet.org
BlueBerry Hill Activity Farm Kerry
As I was making my way from Tralee to Cork I had decided to fit in a visit to the area of Sneem Co Kerry, having heard much about it from a 1980’s band trip my sister had made in her late teens. The memory of her ‘I love Sneem’ hat stays with me to this day!
Not since the beautiful drive through Leitrim and Sligo had I experienced such incredible vistas and landscapes. Seriously folks, if you have never driven through the ‘Cork and Kerry Mountains’ a la Thin Lizzy then now is the time to do so – (well maybe in the spring..)
I had arranged to visit the very cute sounding Blueberry Hill Farm, an activity farm where visitors get to interact with a number of farm animals including goats, pigs, cows, geese, hens and more.
Sigi and Yvonne met me upon my arrival and we began our interactive tour with a bit of bottle feeding the goats! What fun! I can imagine the squeals of excitement that children would make from the enjoyment of being able to literally touch and feed the animals.
A Way of Life!
Chatting with Sigi it became apparent that this is more than a way to make a living – this is their way of life. Indeed Sigi and Yvonne decided to sell their house and travel around Europe before discovering and falling in love with Sneem and have worked hard building Blueberry Hill Farm from scratch.
The farm has goats, piglets, a beautiful cow (it’s rare I call cows beautiful trust me) and lots of very amusing fowl – (see the dinnertime video below to see what I mean) which visitors get to meet, touch and feed whilst Sigi explains a bit about them and promotes choosing free range meat over intensively farmed animals reared for meat only.
Candlemaking & Scone Making Fun!
The farm also has a very cool barn which is the venue for a spot of candlemaking where children from a very young age to adults all get to make a lovely keepsake that will actually be useful – a candle! Sigi and Yvonne originally had a candle making business where they created beautiful mutli coloured and multi shaped candles which they sold at markets and to craft shops throughout Ireland and it was from this business that they were able to finance the purchase of the land many years ago.
There is a choice of tours and the full tour includes the preparation of scones where the children are shown how butter is made and they use the buttermilk and cream on the scones which are devoured afterwards!
Blueberry Hill Farm also offer lot’s of workshops throughout the year for adults interested in self sufficiency.
Self Sufficiency Workshops
One in particular that really interested me was the Home Dairy workshop where you can learn to transform milk into delicious yoghurt, soft cheeses, hard cheeses and real butter. This workshop will give you knowledge and skills which you can put into practice at home afterwards. They also offer Blacksmithing and Candle Making for adults.
Unique Hen & Stag Events!
Blueberry hill farm have some great ideas for Hen and Stag parties looking for something a little unusual – for eg the hens can create a beautiful horseshoe shaped ‘Good Luck’ candle with engravings on it which the bride can have at her wedding, whilst the stags can build a raft to sail across the lake in order to find the hidden whiskey! Or vice versa! no gender stereotypes here- many stags enjoy getting the groom to experience married life earlier by learning how to prepare and bake scones – pink apron supplied!
A freshly prepared lunch using their own homegrown organic veg and salads is included in the hen and stag packages.
Pre booking is essential for blueberry farm tours and events and they are open all year round so do give them a call on 087 3647371 to avoid disappointment!
Listen to our EcoTour Audio Here:
Visit Blueberry Hill Farms’ Profile Page Here >>
Dinnertime for those naughty Geese:
Can’t find an event or course you fancy?
If it’s related to the outdoors, nature or self sufficiency we want to feature it!
Let us know what your looking for and we will do our best to source guides in Ireland who can provide it! Know a guide who provides events/ courses that are not on the site? Tell them to get in touch!
Roz 087 3205680 Play[at]EcoActiveIreland.com
Let them eat….Sloes?
Alas despite my joy at thinking I had discovered a bountiful sloe hedge last week I had so many things to do ( birthday, work, housework etc) that I never got round to collecting them. Today I eagerly gathered my ‘tools’ ( bag. gloves. ladder just in case..) and set off up the back lane to gather about 500g of them to make sloe gin for the October foraging course, only to discover the bush in question had been stripped bare!
Just as well as it seems that it is too early for sloe harvesting – Apparently I should wait until after the first frost between Sept – November! ( Reasons I will never ever guess a mushroom and only get super experienced guides to teach any courses featured here!)
Luckily I spotted another bush even closer to me that is still to ripen so I may yet be lucky… Meantime I could not ignore the juicy gorgeous blackberries that were smiling at me saying “pick me…squish me…eat me…“..
I gathered together enough to make some nice homemade jam- this will be my first attempt – I usually just soak them to get rid of insects then heat in a pan and make it into mush into which I dip fresh bakery bread! (I have yet to delve into making bread)
This lot I will be making jam with…so they are currently soaking on the picnic bench with my specially engineered escape route for the insects to leggit before it’s too late – call me a softie..
Blackberry Jam recipe I will be using:
Wish me luck!