Making the most of the light

We're into the part of the year that is hardest for those living off grid, when the days are getting increasingly short, the sun doesn't appear that often, and when he does, he's pretty low in the sky. Having been terribly casual about the whole energy thing all...

Being prepared

The typical image of 'preppers' is of heavily armed Americans living in compounds in the mountains, with stockpiles of food and ammunition, or their close relatives the 'survivalists' who are kitted out ready to live in shelters in the woods, making their own clothes...

There’s so much to do!

As we approach Samhain - Halloween, and the midpoint of the latest lockdown or 'extended half term' as it's sold to us, we've managed to get busy in the garden. Our apple crop this year was woeful, partly due to some odd frosts at bad times, and partly because half...

Wind turbine upgrade

Right at the start of the year, Gerry from Kerry was kind enough to give us a working Bornay turbine like the (then broken) one we have, as well as a 15 metre mast to put it on. Our mast is 9 metres which seems pretty tall when you're near it, but in the world of wind...

Let there be light

For the last eight years we've been fervently letting everything grow, more or less unrestricted. So for the first time this summer it became really apparent that it was time to rein things in a bit, as the vegetable garden was becoming darker and darker, and just...

Where has the truck gone?

We've had lots of emails to ask why the truck isn't available to stay in at the moment. The simple answer is that during lockdown, we spent a lot of time redecorating and sprucing up Birch Cottage, and then realised that the truck needed even more work doing to make...

A tour around Lackan Cottage Farm

As it looks as though we won't be doing any actual tours around or opening for visits in 2020, I made this somewhat inpromptu video tour where I had a good walk round and covered most aspects of Lackan Cottage Farm on the way. Usually I'd be answering questions as I...

Our new venture – Off Grid Kit

Over the years hundreds of people have come to us for advice about off grid energy, and over the last two years Steve has increasingly been supplying equipment to people all over Ireland on an occasional basis. With increasing interest in energy security in uncertain...

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.

Making the most of the light

Making the most of the light

We're into the part of the year that is hardest for those living off grid, when the days are getting increasingly short, the sun doesn't appear that often, and when he does, he's pretty low in the sky. Having been terribly casual about the whole energy thing all...

read more
Being prepared

Being prepared

The typical image of 'preppers' is of heavily armed Americans living in compounds in the mountains, with stockpiles of food and ammunition, or their close relatives the 'survivalists' who are kitted out ready to live in shelters in the woods, making their own clothes...

read more
There’s so much to do!

There’s so much to do!

As we approach Samhain - Halloween, and the midpoint of the latest lockdown or 'extended half term' as it's sold to us, we've managed to get busy in the garden. Our apple crop this year was woeful, partly due to some odd frosts at bad times, and partly because half...

read more
Wind turbine upgrade

Wind turbine upgrade

Right at the start of the year, Gerry from Kerry was kind enough to give us a working Bornay turbine like the (then broken) one we have, as well as a 15 metre mast to put it on. Our mast is 9 metres which seems pretty tall when you're near it, but in the world of wind...

read more
Where has the truck gone?

Where has the truck gone?

We've had lots of emails to ask why the truck isn't available to stay in at the moment. The simple answer is that during lockdown, we spent a lot of time redecorating and sprucing up Birch Cottage, and then realised that the truck needed even more work doing to make...

read more
A tour around Lackan Cottage Farm

A tour around Lackan Cottage Farm

As it looks as though we won't be doing any actual tours around or opening for visits in 2020, I made this somewhat inpromptu video tour where I had a good walk round and covered most aspects of Lackan Cottage Farm on the way. Usually I'd be answering questions as I...

read more
Our new venture – Off Grid Kit

Our new venture – Off Grid Kit

Over the years hundreds of people have come to us for advice about off grid energy, and over the last two years Steve has increasingly been supplying equipment to people all over Ireland on an occasional basis. With increasing interest in energy security in uncertain...

read more
Enjoy a safe and relaxing stay in a rural setting

Enjoy a safe and relaxing stay in a rural setting

Here at Lackan Cottage Farm, our guests health and wellbeing has always been incredibly important to us, which is why we used materials and finishes free from harmful chemicals when we renovated Birch Cottage. From food safe paints to natural local timber inside, to the fresh smell of the birch wood next to the cottage, this has always been a place to come to retreat, relax and rejuvenate.

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Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Subscribe to our YouTube channel

We're in the process of creating more video content so that you can take a look around, and find out about all the projects and systems here at Lackan. We're also going to be moving a lot of our course content online over the coming months as it looks like Covid-19...

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May garden update

May garden update

Normally this would be a hectic time of year with courses running and guests staying, but we have time to spend in the garden and are concentrating on the veg. It's great to hear how you are all getting on with growing in lockdown - keep us updated, we love to hear...

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Looking forward to spring

Looking forward to spring

A busy week in the garden, we've tidied up all the beds that have crops in - the chickens had been wandering and taken advantage of the lack of netting on one or two things, so we've covered those properly, and cleaned up decomposing leaves that are such an attraction...

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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, about our life off grid. We're really pleased with the way its turned out, and were delighted to take part in a well attended Q&A...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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