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...

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...

Congratulations to a happy couple

It is always wonderful when guests choose Birch Cottage to pop the question, and even more wonderful when they share the news with us. Gary proposed to Grainne this week, and they are now engaged to be married. Congratulations guys 🙂

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,...

Pioneering Eco Tourism with Green Key

We’ve always been passionate about increasing awareness of the many environmental issues that face us all, and a major part of that is through our self catering accommodation here at Lackan. Visitors can see that is is possible to reduce their environmental impact and still live in a beautiful, comfortable space. As pioneers of ‘eco tourism’ in Northern Ireland, we’re always looking for ways to increase the profile of green living.

Off grid living series of courses

Once again this year we are offering our popular one day 'Off Grid Living' course, which takes a look at all the aspects of living the off grid life here at Lackan, and gives practical examples of how elements of this can be used in your everyday life. Our new off...

Exciting times ahead

The coming year promises to be an exciting one. We're celebrating our new LAND centre status by running a full programme of courses, and opportunities for visitors to find our more about the work we're doing here at Lackan. As well as a series of Practical...

Some new websites

In a previous life, I was a partner in a website development company, and as well as building our own website, I still keep my hand in by developing sites for other people when I feel we share a similar ethos

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.

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...

read more

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...

read more

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,...

read more

Pioneering Eco Tourism with Green Key

We’ve always been passionate about increasing awareness of the many environmental issues that face us all, and a major part of that is through our self catering accommodation here at Lackan. Visitors can see that is is possible to reduce their environmental impact and still live in a beautiful, comfortable space. As pioneers of ‘eco tourism’ in Northern Ireland, we’re always looking for ways to increase the profile of green living.

read more

Off grid living series of courses

Once again this year we are offering our popular one day 'Off Grid Living' course, which takes a look at all the aspects of living the off grid life here at Lackan, and gives practical examples of how elements of this can be used in your everyday life. Our new off...

read more

Some new websites

In a previous life, I was a partner in a website development company, and as well as building our own website, I still keep my hand in by developing sites for other people when I feel we share a similar ethos

read more

Managing horses on a small acreage

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.

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Give the gift of cosy this Christmas

If you're looking for something different to give as a gift this Christmas, how about a stay at Birch Eco Cottage or the Off Grid Horsebox. Our gift vouchers come in £25, £50, £75 and £100 amounts and can be used as part of all of a booking at Birch Eco Cottage or the...

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Why green tourism is about so much more than travel

Green Tourism, Eco Tourism, Ethical Tourism – all these are increasingly popular terms, as awareness of the need for more environmentally aware accommodation and travel is gradually making its way into the mainstream. Of course, the availability of cheap air travel, and our love of fossil fuel powered transport in general have contributed significantly to the position we now find ourselves in. One where climate change is poised to reach a tipping point from which there is little chance of recovery. Despite this,it is vital to encourage as many people as possible to make changes to their behaviour, and green tourism has its part to play.

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Water independence

Here in Northern Ireland we are fortunate to have a water supply that is generally reliable and clean. Our own water isn't fluoridated, but it has been chlorinated to some extent, to kill bacteria, and it is reliant on the national grid to keep pumps (and thus the...

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LAND centre pioneers

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.

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Something different for Christmas

This Christmas, why not give someone the gift of a stay at our Four Star cottage Birch Eco Cottage or the Off Grid Horse Box. Our accommodation vouchers are available in £25, £50, £75 and £100, and can be redeemed against any stay in our accommodation in 2018 or 2019.

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Autumn wines

So far this year we've made wine from elderflowers, gorse, blackcurrants, redcurrants, raspberries, and rhubarb. Now that autumn is here, we have a new selection of crops from which to conjure wines. Although most of our peaches were made into jam, enough were saved...

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Limewashing and a barn repair

October was a busy month at Lackan, tackling all the regular jobs that we've been putting off too long. The cottages have been limewashed, repairs made to flashings and everything made generally weatherproof. Three years after we bought the lime-hemp plaster, the last...

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Reflections on the permaculture design course

Although I’ve been involved with permaculture for nearly a decade now, and on site here at Lackan for six years, practising permaculture on a daily basis, I had never done my PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate). When I was offered the chance to do a PDC at Carraig Dulra in Wicklow, led by friends Suzie Cahn and Hannah Mole, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

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Wedding dress seeks bride to be

Visitors to Birch Eco Cottage occasionally leave small items behind intentionally. Usually because they are travelling on and don't have room in their luggage. We were surprised then, to find that newlyweds from Vermont,  Marianne and Derreck had decided to leave...

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The magical Mournes

We went off up the coast to Killough to a plant swap event this weekend, an on the way home discovered one of our favourite views ever of the Mournes.  The A2 from Killough to Clough is surely one of the most picturesque routes we’ve been on and is definitely a trip we’d recommend to visitors, especially if they are visiting Castle Ward

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A look from above

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.

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A taste of Lackan Cottage Farm permaculture smallholding

We made a short film about the farm which gives a flavour of the place. There was so much we wanted to include but it’d get long so they’ll be in another. Enjoy 🙂 If there is some aspect of what we do here that you’d like to hear more about, let us know and we’ll come up with something.

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