Lúnasa news

Just a few announcements this month...

Complete Introduction to Smallholding course - 11th August

Final bookings now being taken - full day course + lunch for €50

A smallholding can be anything from an acre of garden to a 50 acre farm, but whatever size they are they will usually be run by a family, and will produce a variety of food including vegetables, fruit, eggs meat and milk.  More and more people are "growing their own" and often want to move on to poultry, livestock and a wider range of crops as they realise the value and pleasure of producing their own food.  

This is one-day introductory course will cover the basic knowledge needed for those wanting to start out in smallholding, or to expand on their existing project. The course will be held at Carraig Dúlra permaculture holding in Glenealy, Co. Wicklow and as well as looking at the individual elements of your holding, we will show you how to integrate them using organic and permaculture principles. Subjects covered include;

  • Designing your holding permaculture style
  • The vegetable plot- annuals and perennials.
  • Keeping poultry for eggs and meat.
  • Livestock for milk and meat- pigs, sheep, goats and cows.
  • Growing cereals for stock feed and bedding.
  • Putting the puzzle together- making the elements work for each other.
  • Selling your produce- farm gate, box schemes, CSA, farmer's markets, legal issues.

The course runs from 9am - 5pm.  A light lunch is included. 

Booking in advance is required, please use one of the Payment options

Course Tutors: Lily deSilva and Suzie Cahn

Natural Medicine for Householders 2013

Judith Hoad has started to enrol participants for the Natural Medicine for Householders course starting in January 2013, with one, 3-day residential weekend every month until June 2013.   This hands-on, experiential and practical course includes Herb and Plant uses with plenty of field-work from March onward, as well as some Acupressure and some Homoeopathy, with the making of the full range of remedies, including Flower Essences.   For the detailed programme, telephone Judith on 0749736406, or email 

Permaculture gathering

The second all-Ireland Permaculture happens this weekend in Co Roscommon.  See www.permaculture.ie for more information and to book tickets.

Wolves in Ireland survey

A message from a Master's student:

I am a MSc. Biodiversity and Conservation student currently working on my thesis research.
My thesis aims to investigate Irish peoples attitudes, opinions and knowledge of wolves and their reintroduction to Britain and Ireland.
If you could spare 8-10 minutes to fill out my survey it would be greatly appreciated and go a long way towards helping me achieve the number of responses I require for my project to be successful.

The weblink to the survey is: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Irishwolfopinions

Any friends/family who can also fill out the survey would also be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,
Stephen O'Keeffe

Ireland's GM free status

Did you know that the Irish Environmental Protection Agency have granted Teagasc a license to do an open field trial of GM (genetically modified) potatoes in Co Carlow over the next 4 years.   This is significant because, once GM organisms enter Ireland, it is impossible to remove them. There are potential health and environmental implications and very definite economic implications to this.  Also, since the majority of consumers in Ireland and Europe have made it clear they do not want GM food, the decision to allow this raises some questions about vested interests influencing the decision-making process.  Even though the license has already been granted, I am going to contact my T.D. and the EPA to make my opinion known.  There is more information from the anti-GM advocacy group no2gm.com and on the IOFGA website

Distance learning Rural Development / Social Farming

From a recent email:

University College Dublin in association with University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Galway and National University of Ireland, Maynooth offer a unique Diploma/Bachelor of Science in Rural Development by Distance Learning.  As part of this programme, from 2012 a module will be offered on Social Farming within this programme.  This course is now open for applications for the coming academic year.  As the course is delivered by distance learning, students have the opportunity to achieve a 3rd level qualification regardless of their location in the country.

This Diploma/ BSc in Rural Development by Distance Learning is open to mature students (over 23yrs of age) with at least 2 years rural development experience (paid or voluntary).  Leaving Certificate qualifications are not required. As this programme was developed in association with the LEADER/Rural Development Programme, students participating in this course may be eligible for support with fees through their Local Development Company.

If you would like more information on this programme, please see the brochure attached and  the UCD website at


And/or contact me directly at the details below.

Kind regards,

Aideen McGloin
Lecturer in Rural Development
Rm G.01A
Agriculture & Food Centre
School of Agriculture & Food Science 
University College Dublin   
Belfield, Dublin 4
Rep of Ireland
Tel: 00353  0 1 7167858


Mike & Suzie Cahn
www.dulra.org - info@dulra.org - 0404 69570