True North

Back in 2019 we spent a few days filming with Jon Thompson and he made this excellent short film for the BBC True North series. We're really pleased with the way its turned out, and excited to be taking part in a Q&A session at the NI Science Festival, as part of...

Brendan and Gerry

Our wind turbine is like a family member - we've got used to its various noises, from a gentle thrum of a light breeze to the light aircraft sound it makes in a high wind, and a variety of rumbles in between. So at first, I wasn't sure whether I could hear a new...

Off grid, resilience and permaculture courses at Lackan

In increasingly uncertain times, people are increasingly asking how they can do more for themselves. We've become so reliant on external sources of food, fuel, light, heat, and, to a great degree, knowledge, that it is really empowering to do more within our own homes...

Barra on the Bann

One of the best aspects of life here is that we get to try our hand at things that we'd never thought of. Filming is one of them, and over the last few years we've been involved in quite a few programmes. They've been great for introducing what we do here to a wider...

Wood pellet boiler adventures

Sometimes we're just cruising along doing our thing and a project arrives out of the blue. In this case it came in the form of our largest freecycle ever, courtesy of Leo, who had spotted it and decided it was too big a thing to deal with. 'It' is a Czech made Ponast...

Tidying up the power station

I actually did this work earlier in the summer but never got around to posting it. We decided to install another 4kw of solar pv, principally to allow us to run immersion heaters in both cottages over the summer and thus almost completely remove the need for lighting...

Making headway in the garden

Every day now it feels like we are making headway in the garden, this week we've brought in 4000 litres of compost to put on the newly manured beds, and that gives us a really nice fine surface to sow and plant into. It's pretty late now, but we've lots of winter...

Scythes, fresh planting and the chicken hordes

A beautiful summer's day here at Lackan, and one that began with some scythe action in the front field. The new austrian scythe is incredibly sharp, and I can cut grass to literally an inch long with it if I need to - certainly its as quick as a strimmer, and great to...

Latest news

Here at Lackan Cottage Farm people often say we are living the good life. We grow our own food and wood fuel, generate our own electricity, take responsibility for our own waste, harvest rainwater and are using natural building techniques. Additionally we help other people to do the same, and welcome visitors and volunteers here to the farm to stay and learn about what we have to offer.

True North

True North

Back in 2019 we spent a few days filming with Jon Thompson and he made this excellent short film for the BBC True North series. We're really pleased with the way its turned out, and excited to be taking part in a Q&A session at the NI Science Festival, as part of...

read more
Brendan and Gerry

Brendan and Gerry

Our wind turbine is like a family member - we've got used to its various noises, from a gentle thrum of a light breeze to the light aircraft sound it makes in a high wind, and a variety of rumbles in between. So at first, I wasn't sure whether I could hear a new...

read more
Barra on the Bann

Barra on the Bann

One of the best aspects of life here is that we get to try our hand at things that we'd never thought of. Filming is one of them, and over the last few years we've been involved in quite a few programmes. They've been great for introducing what we do here to a wider...

read more
Tidying up the power station

Tidying up the power station

I actually did this work earlier in the summer but never got around to posting it. We decided to install another 4kw of solar pv, principally to allow us to run immersion heaters in both cottages over the summer and thus almost completely remove the need for lighting...

read more
Making headway in the garden

Making headway in the garden

Every day now it feels like we are making headway in the garden, this week we've brought in 4000 litres of compost to put on the newly manured beds, and that gives us a really nice fine surface to sow and plant into. It's pretty late now, but we've lots of winter...

read more
Scythes, fresh planting and the chicken hordes

Scythes, fresh planting and the chicken hordes

A beautiful summer's day here at Lackan, and one that began with some scythe action in the front field. The new austrian scythe is incredibly sharp, and I can cut grass to literally an inch long with it if I need to - certainly its as quick as a strimmer, and great to...

read more
We did it! The Northern Gathering was a success.

We did it! The Northern Gathering was a success.

After months of preparation and planning, last weekend saw the first Northern Permaculture Gathering happen at Oxford Island. Permaculture legend Suzie Cahn started the gatherings off, some eight years ago, and has been central to their organisation ever since. Suzie...

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The Truck in the Times Top 20 Off Grid places

The Truck in the Times Top 20 Off Grid places

It's always nice to be recognised, and this week the off grid horsebox appeared on The TImes Top 20 off grid places to stay in the UK list. Introducing people to the idea of living more simply, whether off grid or on grid has always been our aim, and because we lived...

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Wild Horses with Joe Rocks

Wild Horses with Joe Rocks

Musician Joe Rocks and his partner came and stayed in our off grid horsebox earlier in the year, and recorded this version of 'Wild Horses' during their stay, which they've very kindly shared with us. It's always lovely to see that people enjoyed their time here....

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More seven year improvements

More seven year improvements

So having got the house to the point where it behaves itself - we have charged batteries, far more hot water, and considerably less chance of it raining inside the house, as well as not having lit the fire for some time now; we have finally been able to turn our...

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The storm before the calm

The storm before the calm

I keep nearly writing posts, and it seems there is so much to put in that it never gets done, so its time for a good update and then we'll keep up to date. There is certainly plenty going on, so here goes. It's getting on for a decade since I began this journey, and...

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GROW Citizen Soil Observatory

GROW Citizen Soil Observatory

Building Better Soil Through Citizen Science Through Permaculture UK, we are excited to be a partner in the GROW Observatory, a European-wide project engaging thousands of growers as citizen scientists. We will learn together, using simple tools to better manage soil,...

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Exploring the Mourne Coastal Route

Exploring the Mourne Coastal Route

Recently we welcomed the folks from Outsider.ie - Ireland's Adventure Magazine to visit, and we're really pleased to feature as part of this promotional video made in association with Discover Northern Ireland. The Mourne Coastal Route is undoubtedly the nicest part...

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Building and installing a ram pump

Building and installing a ram pump

A little stream runs through the farm - actually its a drainage channel, cut into the rock to drain this part of the bog, well over a hundred years ago. The fields and woods drain into it, and it heads off through the countryside which is mostly level. As it passes...

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Books – The self sufficient house

Books – The self sufficient house

None of this energy saving, off grid stuff has appeared out of thin air. Back in 1980, Brenda and Robert Vale wrote 'The self sufficient house', which is still an incredibly useful resource and which is full of good practical information on improving the energy...

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Affordable off-grid?

Affordable off-grid?

Yesterday I went on the radio to talk with a couple of other people about living off grid. Trouble is though you get a few minutes to talk and then its over without really getting to say what you wanted, unless you're a trained media professional, which I'm not.  As...

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Starting on a positive note

Starting on a positive note

It's only a few days into the new year and already it's been a busy one. We're heading into our seventh year here at Lackan, a lot of the physical heavy lifting of sorting buildings and structure is done. Over the last years we've welcomed a lot of volunteers,...

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