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Compost, Local Food, Bloom & Permaculture

Don’t you find it odd that people will put more work into choosing their mechanic or house contractor than they will into choosing the person who grows their food?
-Michael Pollan (quoting Joel Salatin), The Omnivore's Dilemma

In this issue:
Compost talk
GIY meeting
OOOOBY Food Box Launched
Local pork available now
Looking for Bloom volunteers
Permaculture Summer Gathering

Today, Thursday (19th May) - "Benefits of Using Compost in Organic Farming" 

Cre (Composting & Anaerobic Digestion Assocation of Ireland) are holding a compost open evening on the manufacture and use of quality compost.  It's free and being held at GreenKing, beside the Beehive Pub on the N11 in Wicklow, from 730-9:00pm tonight.  Although it is aimed at organic farmers and landscapers, they told me they would be happy for anyone to attend. For more information, contact John Brennan 086 8129260

Saturday 21 May - GIY (Grow It Yourself) meeting

Grow It Yourself meeting from 1-2pm at the OOOOBY Store in Glenealy. The GIY Glenealy group is for gardeners from every level of experience, from beginners to experts.  The group meets on the third Saturday of each month at the OOOOBY store, Glenealy, from 1-2pm.  There is no cost to attend and everyone is welcome, no matter if you've never gardened before or have lots of experience.

OOOOBY Food box 2011 launched!

The OOOOBY Veg Box Scheme is now open to new members for 2011.  The scheme has expanded this year, but membership numbers are still limited in order to ensure good quality and enough quantity of fresh local veg for all members each week.  This is a unique "CSA" (community-supported-agriculture) venture, as it is not linked to just a single large farm, but rather to a range of local producers, from back garden growers to small commercial producers, (with mentoring support for newer growers).  If you like deliciously fresh, earth-friendly vegetables and fruit, and want to buy local produce from local people, then the OOOOBY volunteer-run local vegetable box scheme is for you!

Membership of the 2011 box scheme costs €30 (which includes your first week’s box of delicious veggies).  On subsequent weeks, the cost per box is €10 (or two boxes for €18).  Your box of fresh, seasonal produce will be available for collection from the OOOOBY Store (Glenealy Landscape Centre) every Saturday, starting on 11 June, and going as long as there is veg available.

Local eggs, honey, and other local products, along with bulk wholefoods, are also available for collection at the same time, but must be ordered in advance.

To join the veg box scheme, get the membership form on the new OOOOBY website and send it in with your membership fee.

The veg box scheme is being run by a committee of volunteers and local producers.  If you'd like to get involved as a producer or volunteer, please get in touch with the chairman, John McGann, on

Local pork available now

Speaking of local food, local farmer John Swaby-Miller is looking for a buyer for half a pig.  The cost is €6.50 per kilo, so the final cost for 1/2 pig, fully butchered (by local butcher Derek Dunne) would be in the mid-€100's.  Actual price will depends on finished weight.  John raises his animals free range: he lets them forage naturally, but also provides bought-in food for them.  If you are interested, get in touch directly with John

Looking for Bloom volunteers

Suzie Cahn has been sponsored by Bord Bia again this year to set up an exhibit for Bloom.  This year she is coordinating several groups around the country to produce an exhibit that will feature a permaculture food forest and a school garden.  She is now looking for 1 or 2 volunteers for each day of Bloom.  Your job would be to speak to people about food forests and/or school gardens.  You would need to man the stand all day and will only have short breaks, but if you're willing and interested, please contact Suzie immediately, as she needs to submit names of volunteers to Bloom asap.

Permaculture summer gathering

A new island-wide Permaculture Gathering will take place in a beautiful site at the base of the Sugar Loaf Mountain in Co. Wicklow from 12-14th August 2011.

The gathering will be a self-organised weekend camp of 80-200 people in a private location to support the growing number of Permaculturists in Ireland by providing an opportunity to network, celebrate and learn together.  Opportunities for learning how to work in non-hierarchical ways and share the surplus of knowledge will be key. This willbe an active participatory gathering where the participants create it together. 

For more information or to book, see the Permaculture Gathering website.

Hope to see you on the land soon!

Mike & Suzie Cahn
Carraig Dúlra Organic & Permaculture Farm
Glenealy, Co Wicklow - - 0404 69570