LACKAN COTTAGE FARM

Permaculture
in action

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 learn 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.

Sharing experiences

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 learn 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.

News and events from Lackan

Off grid horse truck

Last year we discovered that our truck is as much loved by visitors as it was by us when we lived in it. A stay in the off grid horse truck is an opportunity to escape from connectivity completely. The truck has been fitted out with recycled materials, an is truly unique. No wifi, no mains power, the truck is run entirely from solar and batteries, and has a cosy box bed, living room with a woodburning stove, as well as a shower room, and a galley kitchen with a dining area. 

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First year willow harvest – lessons learned

This winter can best be described as incredibly wet. Our land is saturated, and other than a bit of sacrificial field for the horses, we're keeping off it as much as possible and concentrating on jobs such as harvesting our willow crop for the first time. We've...

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Hedgerow winemaking with Leo – 14th April 2018

A day of winemaking with Leo Cullen, who can conjure wine from just about anything. We’ll be walking and picking some ingredients in the morning, talking about what we can use to make wine, and how to go about preparing our ingredients and equipment, and then sampling some of Leo’s brews over a lunch of home made soup.

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A strawbale barn

One of the hardest things about producing your own food isn’t growing it, it is storing it afterwards. It really wants to break down as fast as possible, and all manner of creatures want to eat it first. Until now we’ve stored food all over the place – hanging up in the living room; in cupboards. In short, not ideal. Another issue that we had was that our 4000 litre rainwater tanks and pump were not terribly pretty and very exposed to cold temperatures. The pump especially has been badly damaged by freezing twice now. The problem, as they say in permaculture, is the solution, and in this case takes the form of a strawbale barn, which incorporates the water tanks as its back wall.

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Our first willow harvest

Funny old weather we are having. Within any 24 hour period we can have temperatures as low as minus seven, snow or sleet, warm sunshine and a thaw, and then back again. It is against this somewhat random backdrop that we are attempting to tidy and prepare the garden...

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Soup!

We grow a lot of squash here, it seems to like our polytunnel. Our favourite so far is Burgess Buttercup, which grow squashes to a decent but manageable size and can be quite prolific. They also store beautifully, so we don’t tend to eat them until the dark days of January and February, when sometimes you just need a decent, cheering soup on a wild oul day.

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Come and stay

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.

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