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...

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.

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...

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...

Accommodation closed until further notice

We've now closed Birch Cottage and the Off Grid Horse box until June at the earliest, and we'll take a decision on reopening based on government advice. Thanks for your understanding.

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...

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...

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...

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.

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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Pioneering Eco Tourism with Green Key

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.

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Off grid living series of courses

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...

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Some new websites

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

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Managing horses on a small acreage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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