2018 … Springing back to life !

And Yes ! The spring is almost upon us , I know officially its here but as i look out my window to the snow laden peaks of Errigal , I am hesitant to jump into action just yet . Planning is still in earnest here at OURganic Gardens , As well as Joanne’s outreach work in community gardens still ongoing , we have a range of exciting in house courses’ in development for the coming year . We also have our herb garden project run by the amazing Angela Mc Gee and our ideas about our much wanted CSA (community supported agriculture) market garden are in development . So as you can guess , we are very excited about the year ahead !

And we welcome you and hope you can join us as ever in our journey as we develop this social enterprise into a place where people can come to learn and be educated about horticulture , permaculture , sustainability and everything in between .

Now over to Joanne :


Tree Planting , Seed Sowing and Spuds !

Busy Bees are us this past week , the weather is making a slow change but the cold is still upon us so patience a plenty we grab every opportunity to get into the garden . We also welcome Charlotte from Germany who has been helping us !



Kicking off the year we have teamed up with Changemakers Donegal to bring you all an excellent accredited QQI level 4 in Global Development . Starting on Friday 2nd March this course will look at key global issues such as inequality, gender equality, justice, environmental sustainability, and how local and global are linked and shape our lives.

Kate Wilkinson, Change Makers Project Coordinator said “This is the first time we have offered a QQI module in West Donegal and we are delighted to be linking in with OURganic Gardens who are hosting the course. Joanne Butler from OURganic Gardens has been involved in Change Makers for many years and our aims and objectives are very much aligned. The module is great – really open and interactive and everyone gets a change to share their views and learn from the other participants and the course facilitators”.

I have personally have completed this course in 2014 and it really opened my eyes up to solution based projects that we all can undertake locally and make a change in how we live (Hence community gardening !!)
We are taking now bookings for this course and the cost covers your accredited course tutors and delicious food and refreshments (€100 but €50 returned on completion) !
*This course has been postponed until start date 2nd March … Places still available .
We look forward to welcome new and familiar faces to this course and you can get in touch with myself (Joanne) or through Kate at Changemakers kate@inishowen.ie.
QQI Level 4 Flier Gortahork Feb to April 2018-page-001

Community Gardens

Another great year planned for community gardens in Donegal . I am personally involved in five gardens this year starting in Gortahork and Ards on Saturday 3rd March , then Brinaleck on Monday 5th March , St Johnston on Thursday 8th March and Dunfanaghy on Monday 12th March . While id love to have the time to do more , i realise to be talking sustainability i need to be walking sustainability , so this way I get to do some time in community gardens, some time with my family and some time at here at home in my own garden and other projects . As you all know juggling takes a lot of time . There are 29 community gardens altogether in Donegal and lots of other courses are running out in these gardens also . As always most of these courses are supported by the @Donegal ETB who give their amazing support to these community education courses and without their assistance we would not be able to avail of facilitators in the gardens ! If you are interested in getting involved in your local community garden please get in touch with Donegal Community Garden Network (they also do a newsletter four times a year and meet in various locations around Donegal. ) . As Chairperson of this network I know most of the gardens around the county at this stage but we have a network event coming up on Saturday 10th March at @Twin Towns Community Garden and if your interested we would love to see you there . All gardeners welcome . DCGN will also help get you connected into your local community garden .

Spring 2018 Garden Courses Donegal 2018 (5)

Donegal Community garden network (2) (1)

QQI Level 3 in Falcarragh and Glenties

So as well as all the above I will be part running two QQI LEvel 3 horticulture and employment courses this year in Falcarragh and Glenties . The first course in Falcarragh is very exciting for me as it is a return to the first garden I ever facilitated @Pobail Le Cheile ! And this year we will be relocating the garden to a new site with a brand new lay out . On board with this project is Sarah Kernan who has designed and managed the build of this garden . I really look forward to the coming months where the students will be hard at work bringing this creation to life . I will be visiting Glenties in the coming weeks to get their plan underway also . Again thanks to @Donegal ETB for the opportunity to be part of this project and with the amazing summer we are going to have I can only assure great work will be achieved !

Permaculture Training and Upcoming courses

Yea !! im delighted this year as I get to be a trainee permaculture facilitator at the amazing Carraig Dúlra in County Wicklow . As part of their Permaculture Design Certificate that embraces head, heart and hands-on learning, I will get to learn onsite at this trans-formative and immersive educational experience at this 4 acre Permaculture research site in the South East of Ireland.
This PDC is designed to be as accessible as possible to all in its learning style, affordability, and ability level, and to all ages. For more info on this please have a look at their website http://dulra.org/courses/booking-details

PDC Carraig Dulra (4)

The Song House and OURganic Gardens

This is BIG for us and we are over the moon to link up with our good friends at The Songhouse in Falcarragh to bring the first Autumn Garden Break to Donegal ! We are so excited to be able to offer people the opportunity to come and visit us at the garden and also at other beautiful gardens and locations that our part of the world has to offer (including Cluain Na dTor and Glenveagh National Park) . The Song House itself provides excellent accommodation , stunning mountain views and it’s very own permaculture garden . I will certainly be mentioning this again in the summer blog but for now see below for more details :))

SongHouse Autumn Break Main Page

More Details :

SongHouse Autumn Break 2nd page

NW Organics

This year OURganic Gardens have joined up with the newly formed NW organics Ireland This is a new network that’s aim is to develop organic gardening skills, share ideas, information and resources. Their mission is closely aligned with ourselves and we are looking forward to working with them and supporting their projects .

For more details see their website http://northwestorganics.ie/

Keep Calm , Keep Gardening

So thats just about it for now , I could add lots more but for updated events and other talks see Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OURganicgardens/ or check out the website www.ourganicgardens.ie which will be newly launched this Spring !! I hope you have enjoyed this update and I look forward meeting or hearing from you all over the coming months . Drop a line in the comments if you enjoyed reading this … it might get me more motivated to do more 🙂

Joanne x


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