The Barker home place near Derryvalley, Co Monaghan is enjoying a wonderful renaissance under the thoughtful stewardship of owner (and well known Toastmaster) Charlie Barker. A few intrepid members of Transition Monaghan took a visit to see and learn how diversification and respect for nature are paying dividends. Dermot McNally explains all.
Transition Monaghan members converged on Síolta Chroí outside Carrickmacross to see how the regenerative farm is progressing. We were blessed with a cool dry day to take the tour and chat to the owners, Karen and Gareth (also Transition Monaghan members).
The group held it’s AGM in Rossmore Park, Monaghan. A range of items were discussed as well as election of official positions. We reviewed the constitution and other decisions were also made on future group plans.
Transition Monaghan members went on a tour of growers in Cavan – one at CAMCAS, a social enterprise with Community Garden and learning space in Ballyconnell: Barry Kavanagh grower, tutor and landscape gardener welcomed members. The second destination was The Patch near Kilnaleck where visitors helped planting windbreaks and fruits trees. The article below (published in the Northern Standard) looks specicifically at the commercial grower Tirloch O’Brien.
Teagasc in association with the Organic Trust occasionally run open days at selected farms throughout Ireland to showcase best practice. It also allows prospective organic farmers to network and learn from those who are “walking the walk”. Two Transition Members went along on the day and the following article (printed in the Northern Standard) gives a flavour of what they saw on the farm tour.
Monaghan newest start-up: the Irish Organic Mill
Few farmers have escaped the endless challenge of rising costs, falling prices and increased regulation. However in an effort to increase viability, two innovative Monaghan Farmers are teaming up to launch a new venture under the brand name, Irish Organic Mill. The Irish Organic Mill will serve the niche but growing market for stoneground baking flour. They hope to launch in 2021. Dermot McNally spoke to one of the two farming entrepreneurs to find out more.
On Tuesday 12th October 2019 local activists from Transition Monaghan and other groups staged a “die in” at The Diamond as a local action during Rebellion Week. A “die in” is a peaceful protest where participants lie on the ground for a period of time symbolizing humanity’s future fate if we don’t act on the climate crisis asap.
Transition Monaghan collaborated with other local organisations at the Monaghan Allotments in Oct 2019. A great crowd were in attendence to hear talks by Emer Brennan of Monaghan Tidy Towns and Transition Monaghan, Michael O Hare Monaghan Allotments, Vincent Kierans Beekeeper and Margaret Palmer Herbalist and Transition Monaghan member. Later in November 2019 (as part of Monaghan Cavan Science Week) Transition Monaghan also organised an apple pressing/cider making event which was also well attended.
Great fun and networking were had by all at the apple pressing event held at Síolta Chroí event in September 2019. Gareth and Karen, owners of the new regenerative farming and social enterprise hosted the event in one of the hay barns on site. Everyone got a turn to juice apples and we all went away with enough bottles to last a lifetime. Many thanks to all participants for collecting and elbow grease in keeping the machines squeezing. Especial thanks to Karen and Gareth for hosting.
Pictured at a native tree seed collecting and sowing workshop in Castleblayney. John McKeon runs regular native tree seed collecting and sowing demonstrations. Get in touch with us to enquire when the next event is coming up.
A group of workshop participants pictured with John McKeon at the event.