As part of our overall planning for Lackan, and as one of the designs on my Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design, I’m looking at how we can better integrate horses into a permaculture design. Not an easy task, as creating closed loops on a relatively small area of land means considering winter forage and bedding, both of which are never going to be completely met from the land but which can be supplemented, in the form of gorse and rushes. Both of which people have spent 150 years eradicating from the land here. Our horses do however provide a hugely valuable resource – manure, which feeds our vegetables incredibly well.
We’re really pleased to have become the first Permaculture LAND centre in Northern Ireland. The LAND (Learning And Network Demonstration) network was set up by Permaculture UK to certify projects that demonstrate permaculture. Scotland and Wales have set up their own networks. Permaculture Ireland encompasses all of the island of Ireland but as we have no formal organisation, the folk at Permaculture UK are working with us, by allowing the use of their application criteria.
It is always fascinating to take a look at the farm from a different viewpoint, and this drone footage does that perfectly. In the middle of one of the driest periods on record, our forest gardens and woodland are holding up really well, in contrast to the pasture around them. Thanks to Danny for filming for us – we’re planning our next phase of forest garden, and being able to see the land from the air is invaluable.