Following our successful Tiny Homes series last year we are starting off this season with this one day course.
Content will be a mix of information sharing and hands on. Both aspects will be tailored, as much as possible, to individual interests and experience levels in order to best answer questions and develop skills:
Discussions and practical options will include:
- Static or mobile Tiny homes
- Planning considerations
- Off grid options
- Material choices, timber, cob, insulation options etc
- Construction methods
- Basic skills development
- Design approaches
- Project planning
Mike comes from an IT and business background, and has particular interests in local food, DIY skills, natural beekeeping, bushcraft and technology that people can understand and emergent self-sustaining human systems. He is involved in the construction and maintainence of most of the non-living systems at the farm, including the Ram pump, water collection systems and outbuildings.
For over 10 years he ran a local website/IT business exclusively using a community built "open source" system for its work, and was active in the Irish open source community.
As an educator, he has taught primary school children in rural Vermont, high school teachers learning about computers in the classroom when it was a new thing, high school students aboard an environmental education schooner in Long Island Sound, college students under the original author of the BASIC programming language, business people and Irish Travellers.
At Carraig Dulra he teaches DIY skills, bushcraft and natural beekeeping, and will launch into long explanations of ram pumps at the drop of a hat.
He is keenly interested in local food, and has started several different projects to bring people and their food closer together, including an ethical/organic market in Wicklow Town, an organic wholefood buyers group, a local food box (OOOOBY), and an ethical/organic shop in Glenealy, Co Wicklow (which also became a hub for other like-minded people).
Suzie Cahn runs a Garden and Permaculture Design business and is also a Director of Carraig Dulra teaching farm.
She says that she is one of the lucky people, in an increasingly urban world, who have been able to develop a deep connection with nature through a frequently unstructured natural childhood by the sea and in the Irish countryside. She was exposed to a Steiner based community living through a strong family connection with the Camphill movement. (Her Grandmother was a founding parent of Camphill in Ireland) Without knowing it at the time, throughout her teens she was got to experience to bio-dynamic agriculture, eco-building and intentional communities and working with the natural landscape. She is a mother, Permaculture Designer and Educators, and an Artist and a Art Therapist working with nature, evolving into an Eco Psychologist.
Suzie says her passion is reconnecting adults, young people, families and children to the learning, healing and creativity found in both nature and art.
She has grown produce for her family since she had her first tiny plot on which to do so and has brought an organic and wildlife community garden and teaching programs to schools and community gardens. She gives workshops and lectures on many topics and in many settings: Hospice Foundation, art therapy training programs and others. She set up a local group called Wicklow Community Gardening Group in 2006 which carried out its aim of developing community gardens throughout county Wicklow. She has served on several boards: CREATE, community rep Wicklow County Partnership, and currently GIY.
She loved the family's six months WWOOFing on the road in Europe in her beloved 1971 VW camper in 2005 "Living inside other peoples lifestyles was amazing and so helpful in choosing what to do ourselves after what I called our 'mid-life crisis gap year.' After twenty years trying to live an ethical, eco life and to spread that ideal, we needed to recharge. It was becoming harder not to give in to hopelessness in the face of massive global environmental crisis' such as GMO, loss of bio diversity, global warming, and unimagionable levels of pollution from everything we do, even from our attempts at healing ourselves through medicine, not to mention running out of oil! " In 2014 the family went off again, this time driving a van (to be donated to the Mongolia Charity GoHelp) across England, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan to Mongolia. She says "this time the trip was about reminding ourselves of our easy lives in Ireland even in "austerity" and contributing what we could to permaculture and education projects and a children's charity along the way."
Suzie hopes that her work and that of Carraig Dúlra continues to inspire and support people and communities developing personal and local resilience under the permaculture umbrella ethics of earth care, people care and fair share.
Suzie's blogs can be found at: