Permaculture is a system of design based on principals derived from nature to create truly sustainable human settlements. Carraig Dúlra farm is a land based 4 acre small-holding on the site of a Wicklow hillside. It is a demonstration and research site for permaculture design and the application of permaculture in the areas of food production, natural building and resilence human livelihood creation.
A key focus is on developing benefical relationships between all elements in the design whether these are structures, plants, insects, animals or birds or the people involved in developing the site and outreach projects. Each element is designed to have mulitiple functions and meet the needs of its own and other elements in cycles of exchange that are similar to those found in nature. These are circles and spirals rather than linear systems and this is reflected in the aesthic of the place. Energy and nutrient flows are captured and used within the system to maximum benefit and are linked to related systems.
Permaculture land based methods encompass such principals as those found in true organic gardening, where it is a nature friendly, bio-diverse, and a resilient food production system. We are trialing plants in a perennial food forest, varieties in an Irish heritage apple orchard, new ways to create water management systems for irrigation and nutrient flows, greenhouse production both annual and perennial, bio-diverse pollinator friendly organic annual gardens and natural bee friendly bee-keeping and a recently established native woodland.
We are creating our permanent farm structures, such as our barn, using natural building techniques and materials: cob, strawbale and round pole construction or up-cycling like our 40 year old restored commercial greenhouse.