I am a community-minded permaculturist, trainer and garden designer, based on Co Wicklow, Ireland.
Lucky to have had a childhood immersed in nature, I spent much of my holidays exploring the mountains of Mourne, following rivers to the sea, and playing on beaches and in rock pools. Wider family connections meant time on diary farms, small-holdings and in a Camphill eco-village. My father and grandfather's back garden plots were places to graze; rasberries, peas and early strawberries were pinched from the cold frames.
My love of nature led to a natural lifestyle when I set up a home with my, New England loving New Yorker husband, in Co Wicklow. Chemicals gave us the creeps. He had an urban environmentalist's objections, I prefered baking soda and elbow grease to the smell of bleach. Our neighbours teased our 'Good Life' leanings, but enjoyed our eggs and jams. A career pioneering art therapy and arts in health in Ireland slowed by the time our fourth child arrived, the lifestyle became a new direction for us both.
Travel and adventure was in my blood and had always called to himself. When the youngest was hardy enough, aged 2 plus, we set off for a year in a 1971 VW exploring projects in Ireland, France, Italy and Croatia for inspiration as to how to proceed. Permaculture became our new buzz word.
Looking for land on our return, Carraig Dúlra (the place and the social enterprise) found us in 2006 and has been a how we've nurtured our brood, along with new community connections, while creating, teaching and learning permaculture design and life lessons along the way.
Travel, and adventurious journey's have been a thread in my life from when I left the North of Ireland to move South with my parents at age 12, and have always helped support lifes transitions:
- Nigeria to a friend made at school - when I was leaving home at 18
- America- when I was 20, half way through art college, and quite lost and lacking in confidence
- Israel- when I was 22 helping me understand my Irish mixed up cultural idenity through a different lens
- America- again at 23 to study Art Therapy helped me find my creative soul and a soul mate
- Suburban Dublin - later to Wicklow and unexpectedly for my husband and I finding a place to put down a tap root at last
- France and the west and north west of Ireland many times- places to holiday slow paced and indulgent
- Italy, France and Croatia- mid life crisis part one begins- how will we live our family life
- Wickow and our friends there call us home, and the tap root and nature (dúlra) connections deepen on a piece of land on Carraig mountain
- USA holidays renew us with postive possiblities and family and friends affections- one month on Amtrack trains takes us across the country and back again
- Spain to walk 100km of the Camino de Santiago marks the begining of the end, of life with a young family
- Mongolia- sharing the surplus on a charity rally and permaculture volunteering- brings mid-life crisis part two to a close, deeping our understanding of resilience, perhaps now we are grown ups
- Wicklow's tap root holds us still