Wind high and cold, low the sun,
Short his course, sea running high.
Deep-red the bracken, its shape all gone,
The wild goose has raised his wonted cry.
Cold has caught the wings of birds.
Season of ice – these are my tidings.
--from "The Colloquoy of the Ancients", 12th century
The month of October-November is called Samonios, or Seed-Fall, referring to the falling nuts and seed-cases of Autumn… all that is left of a year's labour are those little magic nuggets with all the potential for new growth next year... time to rest.
It's the time of seed saving. We've been storing up all the autumnal goodness too- drying tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins.
It is also the end of the year in Celtic tradition and several others; it is the true New Year. As we are connected to the seasons through the growing and weather cycle, we think of this as year end. We wrap up ourselves as we wrap up Carraig Dúlra for the closing in of deep winter and dream of the spring and what it will bring....
OOOOBY end of season-wrap up
At the end of the summer, we moved the OOOOBY Store from the Landscape Centre up to Carraig Dulra farm to save on rent costs. The Landscape Centre's owner was consistently supportive of and interested in what we were doing, and our 2 years there were punctuated by lovely community seasonal celebrations. Having a central meeting point made it easy for similar-minded people to make connections with each other; in some ways our regular Thursday volunteer days at the farm also have continued to let this happen.
OOOOBY Food Boxes were sorted and given out by box members themselves, at the community market at the Beehive pub. So a huge thanks to everyone who manned the stall for a day, and thanks to whoever arranged for the good weather every Saturday! Renee and Rowley of Sheanes Cottage Garden deserve mention not only for being very welcoming of our stall at the market, but also for consistently supplying absolutely beautiful fresh salads & veg to the boxes each week.
Despite having such good local producers, it was quite a challenge for the OOOOBY box was to get the quantity, variety and quality of veg we were looking for each week, because the growing season had been so difficult. With that in mind, Mike will be talking to the students in the Glenealy commercial organic horticulture course this month about selling their produce into the OOOOBY box next year, and we're interested in hearing from anyone else - organic or not - who is interested in supplying veg to the boxes in the coming year.
One of the highlights for us this season was the visit by Pete Russell, who founded OOOOBY in New Zealand. Thanks to GIY for funding his visit to Ireland; we took full advantage of his presence in this hemisphere and had some great conversations which gave us some new ideas and inspiration for the coming season.
Dulra on Radio
We participated in a new short radio series focusing on the community actions Carraig Dúlra has supported since its inception in 2006. The show is called "Grassroots" and the series is about community action projects where people are making a positive difference to society. It's being broadcast on Shenanigans with Sile, on Newstalk radio 106-108fm Saturdays from 12-2. The episode covering Carraig Dulra is on this Saturday, 10th November, from 12-2pm.
GIY Wicklow Southeast and Wicklow Community Garden are putting on a practical gardening session on Saturday November 10th. ‘Prepare your plot for the winter’ will be the theme, with tips and advice from Suzie Cahn of Carraig Dulra. All welcome. Bring tools and get your hands dirty, or take the advice home and put it to use on your own vegetable plot. Come along on Saturday November 10th at 2.30pm to Wicklow Community Garden, at the top of Crinion Park in Wicklow Town. Contact Amber Godwin on 0877542996, or Wicklowcommunitygarden@gmail.com for further information.
Next year's plans
We hope to run some more of our successful focused courses- Complete Small-Holder, Permaculture Design, Also offer some Natural Building apprenticeship/internships during our barn build, some parent and child nature camps and other events. We also hope to move towards our future plan of putting Carraig Dúlra into trust as a smallholding teaching site for all things Permaculture, owned and run by its wide community of tutors, volunteers, participants. We are exploring how this might be done- crowd funding, workers cooperatives etc.
So if you are interested in any of the above please stay in touch, send us and email or come visit on the last few volunteer Thursdays which will run up to the end of November.