January 2020; We’re on d’telly and off to the pictures! , learning “new old stuff” and growing gardens…

by Annette Morris Keane

Here at Clondarrig we are looking forward to more new beginnings and further nurturing of our vision for the future over this coming year.

A reminder of that vision can be found here and if you feel the call to join us on our road to a better future do give us a a shout via our email address or private message on our facebook page

We are very grateful to all who support and believe in what we are doing and we invite you to dig in for more work play and exploration over the coming year.

Here are just some of our new developments……


Wide Awake Films” will be a series of informal social gatherings which will include the hosting of a number of films that are pertinent to our changing times. Our intention is to inspire community to do things differently together and to make connections with like minded folk so as to build resilience and hope for a beautiful future .

We are very grateful to the Balcony Cinema and Film Club, Mountmellick for partnering us in this project and really look forward to seeing where it will take us. Our first film night will be on Thursday February 20th the details of which are below. We hope to see you there!

Living the Change is a feature-length documentary that explores solutions to the global crises we face today – solutions any one of us can be part of – through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way.

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*Offline tickets will be available locally soon. Stay tuned for more information.


It would be an unusual thing indeed to meet a person these days in Ireland who is not on some level aware of the climate and ecological crisis we now find ourselves in the midst of . Whatever people believe is the cause or might be the solutions(s), denial is fading and reality is slowly and steadily dawning on most.

Those that know what we are about at Clondarrig will be aware that we are a glass half full sort of bunch and that we prefer to look towards rather than away, to learn how rather than avoid and to build mind body and heart muscle through learning. All this comes along with the intention of becoming a strong resilient nurturing community, while doing our best to help our larger community do the same, come what may.

So with this in mind we’d like to share what we hope, with the help of more minds and hearts like ours, to develop further over this coming year….


Some ideas on what we believe it means to be resilient in a time of unprecedented and unpredictable change;

To be strong, to endure, to be flexible, adaptable, to be able to recover, restore and regenerate, to have reinforcements, reserves and alternatives, to have a healthy support network, to flow with rather than resist.

Nurturing nature & community is simply an exercise in remembering and putting into practice what has, until only very recently in the history of humanity’s presence on Earth, been standard practice as per natural law.

As part of the whole, humanity is now beginning to realise (the hard way!) that it’s a grave mistake to behave as if we are separate from it and that as per the natural law of cause and effect, ignoring the impact of our actions on our life supporting systems is leading to an effect we never would have chosen.

With the advent of industry and easily acquired, necessities (and un-necessaries) traditional skills and craftsmanship has been dying rapidly over the last few decades. However they are not dead yet ! We know that there are many skilled craftspeople including elders and younger generations who have much to teach us if we have the eyes and ears to learn and the hands to repeat. Until our self-determination fell out of balance with the machine, this is how centuries of generations before us learned, through hands on experience under the watchful eye of the master, ensuring that tradition, culture and self reliance stayed strong in those who descended from them.

We believe that the revival and restoration of traditional and cultural skills within local communities plays a hugely important role in the strength and resilience of those communities .

As a project centred around food security, education and practice in ethical, sustainable, local food production is a priority at Clondarrig Farm. Added to this, examples of traditional and cultural skills in relation to our ethos would be the broader skills of processing food, wild food and medicine, harvesting energy and water, creating shelter and warmth, all in harmony with nature. We are also interested in hosting a wide array of education in skills relating to textiles, wood, ceramics, metal, stone, leather, willow, rush straw etc.

SO! We are really looking forward to inviting experienced elders and youngers from all cultures with traditional skills to share, to join us at Clondarrig for a chat about a partnership in the revival of this kind of education in Co. Laois.

MORE INFORMATION ON THIS SOON. If you are interested in delivering workshops or courses at Clondarrig for adults and/or children contact us on clondarrigfarm@gmail.com


There are those of us at Clondarrig who have the gift of the gab and are well placed to shout to the world (or at least the county) about the beautiful goings on at Clondarrig……

And then there are those of us who without all the song and dance (unless its a singing and dancing kind of day) quietly go about those goings on. They are on the ground (literally) every chance they can get, steadily, gently, purposefully but without hurry making the dream a reality.

These are the ones that know the Clondarrig corner of Earth intimately, whose hands and the soil are often merged together as one, who nurture and coax new life from the tiniest most innocent seeds and who listen carefully to what Nature wants for Clondarrig, taking her instructions into their hearts before going to work on her creations.

They are busy bees doing all the above and in the midst of developing our beautiful Mandala Community Garden, preparing it for Clondarrig community members to come and grow food together for sharing.

Our Mandala Garden design is based on the Celtic Wheel of the Year and is protectively surrounded by a host of Ireland’s native trees as seen in the beautiful artwork below. The intention behind our garden design serves as a reminder for the work (and play!) within to be in alignment with the rhymes and reasons of nature as honoured and understood by generations of Ireland’s ancestry .

Artwork by Yuri Leitch (More beautiful work here


On d’telly!

We were delighted to see John McHugh on Eco Eye RTE ONE on Tuesday 14th out on the land talking with Dr Lara Dungan about how to adapt to climate change with regenerative farming and the potentially positive impact Irish agriculture can have using farming methods that are in harmony with nature. If you missed this topically current and important episode you can catch it again here for a limited time on RTE PLAYER

That’s it for now but follow us for further news throughout the year here by adding your email. Clondarrig is a non-profit project depending wholly on volunteers and the support of our local community. We are grateful for your support.

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