Lackan Cottage Farm is a permaculture smallholding near the beautiful Mourne Mountains in Co. Down. We live as lightly as possible on the land and offer the opportunity for visitors from all over the world to stay, volunteer and learn with us.
We want to demonstrate how a low impact lifestyle can be a practical reality, meeting our own needs for food, energy, waste and water from the land around us. Sharing our experiences with others is important to us, and as well as offering practical courses, we welcome volunteers from all over the world to help with everything from horticulture to green buildings.
As part of a wish to live more simply, reduce our environmental impact, and as a reaction to the threat of a changing climate, and over reliance on fossil fuels, we are establishing an off grid smallholding using permaculture and organic principles. Our aim is to be able to provide working, practical solutions that people can learn about, and take away to use in their own lives.
Sample Off Grid life for yourself
Come and stay in Northern Ireland’s only off grid self catering cottage and try the good life for yourself. Walk in the birchwoods, feed the hens and enjoy fresh produce grown right here. The ideal spot from which to explore the Mourne countryside.
We really enjoyed the recent permaculture weekend course, and one of the exercises we regularly do is to ask participants to look at our site and see if they can come up with suggestions or improvements. We got several great ones this time around and so set about acting on them. The first was the observation that the area around the pond was being wasted
This week we did a bit of filming for a segment on the BBC programme ‘Escape to the Country’, telling Ruth and Stuart about our smallholding as they look for property in Northern Ireland. It was good fun, and an opportunity to show off Birch Cottage, but it’ll be 9 months before the programme airs. Tell us is you see it, as we don’t have a TV….
We’re into the final stages of readying Harriet the horsebox to welcome visitors, and it is always those last details that take forever to complete. Our truck house was home for so long, and in it’s new incarnation, refitted with reclaimed materials and things that we have collected along the way, it is a really lovely place to spend time in. Harriet will be available from 1st June.
Finally. Just 10 years after putting a coat of primer on the truck, it is painted. Not the best day for painting anything, let alone a lorry, but it had to be done. The transformation is remarkable (thankfully) and after three coats of paint, my arms are falling off, but the old girl does look magnificent.
When I headed off to Tipperary to collect willow cuttings so that we might grow our own basket willow, Richard was kind enough to give me a trailer load of dry willow. The smaller stuff is all for baskets but I’d been wondering what to do with the heavy stuff. In a bid to protect the young hedge around the garden, Claire and I decided to make a woven fence, which then evolved as Claire suggested bending it over into hoops. The result is excellent, and blends into the garden without shading plants too much.
Sorry those of you who might have wanted to come on our ‘build a compost toilet’ course – we had to go ahead and build it early, and the course won’t be happening now. We needed to get our truck ready for visitors early, and having the loo nearby was a part of that.
kwh electricity generated
Rescue animals rehomed
Lackan Cottage Farm
Visitors – We are always happy to welcome visitors as long as you contact us in advance. Much as we love dogs, we ask that you leave them at home as we have free ranging animals and children around the farm. Smoking is not permitted anywhere here.
Contact us at – Lackan Cottage Farm, 79 Lackan Road, Ballyroney, Co.Down. BT32 5HR. Northern Ireland
You can email us – lackancottage [at] riseup.net or use the contact form