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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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...
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
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.
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.
Today we were planting out the young brassicas grown in modules in the polydome. After weeks without rain, the soil is very dry.
This growing season was slow to get going, even in the polytunnels, but after all the warm weather, it’s all growing like mad. Today we’re having a look round with Claire at what is coming on in the tunnels. We’re new to this film making thing so bear with us.
All this week we are running a competition to win a 2 night stay in Birch Eco Cottage. All we are doing is asking you to like (and sharing too would be great) the competition post that you will find on our facebook page. In order that we can easily contact the winner, please also like our Birch Eco Cottage Facebook page. Click here to like the post.
A brief stroll around the beautiful woodland here at Lackan Cottage Farm, which was once bog, and has been cut over for peat. The birch trees are natural regrowth on the old bog, which has dried out significantly as a result of surrounding drainage and the trees themselves. It’s a beautiful place, full of life, and one of few pockets of such woodland in the landscape.
Why not unplug and unwind on a stay in our unique converted horse truck. Refurbished using reclaimed materials, this cosy space enjoys great views of the Mourne Mountains and is tucked away on a corner of our off grid smallholding in the County Down countryside. If you’re looking for a unique place to stay, that is truly off the grid then the horsebox is for you. We are offering you the chance to get an additional 10% off the cost of your stay, by quoting the offer code WEB1 when you book direct. Visit https://lackancottage.co.uk/book-stay-off-grid-horsebox/ to check availability and book now.
For months there, it seemed like winter would never end. The longest, wettest most miserable winter in memory for many. But now here we are at the start of June and all that is a distant memory – the heatwave has arrived, and once again water is very much on our minds but for a very different reason.
2018 is our sixth year on the land here at Lackan Cottage Farm, and although we’ve often had seemingly rapid progress, it is only now that some systems are becoming established enough to produce results. The forest garden area is the best example of this.
Way back in November 2017 we got a call from Animo TV who were making a series for RTE about property restoration with architect Hugh Wallace as presenter. They were filming an episode about a woman who was bringing a near derelict property in Donegal back to life, but with a fairly sensible budget of about 100,000 euro. The reason for us being included was for two reasons. Firstly because we did our cottage up on a tiny budget, and secondly because of our use of materials.
Using horses to work and manage the land means that we can eliminate compaction by machinery, get onto bits of ground that are just inaccessible to machines, and also as you are walking behind the horse, you get to know the land really intimately, and spot things that you could never notice when driving a tractor. Plus of course you are producing no pollution and noise.
It seems like an age since we welcomed Rachel Allen and the crew from Big Mountain here to film for a programme called ‘Rachel Allen – A Cook’s adventure’ celebrating the best of Northern Irish produce, but it was screened on More 4 last night, and we’re really pleased with the results. The premise was that Rachel travelled around the country visiting producers and then cooking up delicious dishes, and Lackan Cottage Farm was one of 7 locations included.