Brief May notes

Being the busy season, just a brief newsletter this time:

Tomorow, An Tairsearch, the organic farm and ecology centre in Wicklow Town, is having a relaunch day for their farm shop.

Note that the Smallholder's Fair, originally scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed, we'll have information in a future newsletter.

Complete Introduction to Smallholding course 24 May

Natural beekeeping weekend with Phil Chandler (a few places left) 7-8 July

Another natural beekeeping training day in West Cork, by Max Danann, on 20 May.  Details from

OOOOBY box - Want to get involved helping/planning/organising?  Please contact 

Judith Hoad is once again offering Living Earth Apprenticeships, see full details at the end of this newsletter.

Enjoy the spring!

Mike & Suzie Cahn -



With Judith Hoad in SW Donegal  -  Monday, July 2nd – Saturday 7th inclusive - 2012

Most medicinal herbs are wild plants.   For five of the six days of this workshop, half of each day will be spent exploring plants growing in different habitats.   One whole day – the first sunny day that looks as though it’ll last all day – will be devoted to making Flower Essences by the sun method.   The other half days will be spent harvesting and making other remedies, including Infusions and Decoctions, Tinctures, Macerated oils, Creams and Ointments.   In addition, there will be a session to learn twelve acupoints, each of which stop bleeding and stop pain in the areas of the body associated with each acupoint – a potentially life-saving skill.

With the exception of the Flower Essence day, which will start as early as we can make it – 8am would be ideal - each day’s work will start at 10am and end at 5pm, with time off for lunch.   At the end of each day there will be a quiz concerning all the topics covered that day – and all the preceding days!    This is an aid to memory and not a point-scoring exercise!

The workshop is residential with accommodation for six people.   If you wish to join in, but would like to camp, your enrolment will be accepted only after the six places are filled,.

A liberal vegetarian meal will be provided each day and other food available for breakfast and snacks.   The inclusive cost is 500 euro.

To enrol, please send all your contact details: phone number, email address (if any) and postal address, accompanied by 100 euro deposit which will secure your enrolment to:

Judith Hoad, Living Earth, Inver, Co. Donegal.   
Tel. 07497 36406,      email

These workshops are residential, each of two days duration and all are over weekends.  Up to six people can be accommodated.   Payment can be in cash, or in kind.   This means, if you choose to pay in cash, it will cost you €170, inclusive of tuition, bed and board and materials for the workshop.   If you wish to pay in kind, this may involve goods (such as harvests of fruit or vegetables), or something you have made, or time spent working in Judith’s garden.   All payment in kind has to be negotiated between the participant in the workshop and Judith before booking – assume nothing!   Payment can be made partly in cash and partly in kind.   All participants are expected to pay a deposit of €30 to secure a place on their chosen workshop, whether they are offering cash or kind.   People paying entirely in kind will have their cash deposit returned after they have made their payment in kind.   Those paying cash have their deposit deducted from the final balance.
For a speedy start on Saturday morning, everyone is welcome to arrive on Friday night, but Judith would like to know in advance what time you propose to arrive, so that food can be ready for you.

July 28th/29th – SUGAN making -  Sugan is a cord, handspun from hay or straw. Useful for weaving seats for stools and chairs and for securing thatch on house, or rick. 
August 11th/12th – VEGETABLE DYEING – Dyes made from wild plants, collected over the weekend and used to dye sheeps wool, (fibre and yarn); both substantive and adjective dyes tried out.     
September 1st/2nd – WRIST-WARMER  AND GLOVE KNITTING – Wrist-warmers on four pins and gloves on two pins to be knitted – bring your own yarn.
September 22nd/23rd – HANDSPINNING – Spinning sheeps wool using a drop spindle, carding, doubling and trebling (plying).   Fibre provided
October 13th/14th – BRAID/CRIOS WEAVING – There are hundreds of different kinds of braid and as many ways to use it.   Bring yarns, if you have any.

These workshops take place at Judith’s home in SW County Donegal.   Judith lives ‘off the grid’, with equipment that generates electricity, water plumbed from roofs and carried from the well (to wash with and to drink, respectively), and compost toilets.   Participants are asked to bring their own sleeping bags (simply to save Judith’s laundry), weather proof clothing and footwear and also to bring indoor slippers, as outdoor shoes are not welcome inside the accommodation.   If you have any special dietary needs, please let Judith know at least two weeks before you come on your chosen weekend.   Liberal vegetarian main meals are provided, as are the makings of breakfast and supper.

For further details and to book: phone Judith at 0749736406, or email