An Immersive Learning Experience in Ireland’ʹs first Ecovillage
Following our hugely successful Experience Weekend in June, attended by 30 people from
all over the country and overseas, Cloughjordan Ecovillage in County Tipperary is hosting
another Experience Weekend on 28-‐‑29 July. The event offers a fun, inspiring weekend
with valuable opportunities to learn about the diversity of areas that are being explored in
Learn what is the best way to grow vegetables, what are the best bets in renewable energy in the home and how buildings can be constructed with natural materials. Take part in a detailed tour of the ecovillage and meet some of the residents to find out why they chose to live in Ireland’s first ecovillage. Optional extras include relaxing in a contemporary dance class and leaving a much appreciated legacy by helping a community garden project in our ‘meitheal’. The programme also includes many practical ways that you can lower your cost of living and your carbon footprint at the same time.
The weekend concludes with an informal Q&A session exploring ways that you can use
these concepts and fresh insights in your own community and daily life.
Come on your own or with friends and you will receive a warm welcome in the
Cloughjordan community. Accommodation is available at Django’ʹs Ecohostel.
“Educational and inspiring, great fun also!” CY, Dublin
“Stimulating, welcoming and a chance to meet like-‐‑minded people” MC, Limerick
“An inspiration to see implementation of ideas bridging sustainability gap” OC, Kilcullen
Cloughjordan Ecovillage a leading contributor to education for sustainability. The
Experience Weekend programme is delivered by ecovillage members and offers a chance
to visit, learn and contribute to the ecovillage as it is being created. The Ecovillage is
located in the heart of Cloughjordan which was awarded the title of Best Green Community
at the 2012 National Green Awards.
Experience Weekend 28-‐‑29 July 2012
The Weekend starts on Saturday at 11 a.m. and ends on Sunday at 4pm.
Cost: €60 (€40 concessions) for full weekend programme. Meals not included, but
Saturday evening meal using produce from the Cloughjordan Community Farm is an
optional extra for only €10. We encourage you to travel to Cloughjordan by train. (see
www.irishrail.ie). Hostel accommodation is available from €20 per night (see
Tel +353 (0)505-‐‑42833
28-‐‑29 July Weekend Programme includes:
l Introduction to Experience Weekend and Cloughjordan Ecovillage.
l Guided Tour of the Ecovillage
l Getting the Most out of a Vegetable Garden
l Green Building in Cloughjordan Ecovillage
l Contemporary Dance Class in Release Technique
l Community Meitheal
l Renewable Energy at Home
l Dirt Cheap Construction-‐‑ An Introduction to Cob Building
l Learnings to Take Home to Your Community
This sets out the programme for the weekend and includes a presentation on the
Cloughjordan Ecovillage, covering the history, principles and aspirations of the project.
Tour of the Ecovillage
A detailed tour of the ecovillage after more than 50 homes have been built and the
landscaping of the estate is fully underway. Includes a view of the community heating
system and the 17,000 tree native woodland planted in 2010.
Getting the Most Out of a Vegetable Garden
Explore how to work with plants and soil life so that your garden is healthy and
productive. This course will introduce the theories and practical issues that form the basis
of much of the common gardening advice. This course is being facilitated by Bruce
Darrell currently developing the RED Gardens, a series research education and
development gardens as part of the ecovillage which explore different methods of
Green Building in the Ecovillage
This introduction to Green Building will draw upon examples from the ecovillage to
investigate what do we mean by green building, what does it actually look like, how do
we go about it and how do we decide if we are doing it or not? Mike Holden offers an
overview, starting with traditional natural building techniques and then comparing and
contrasting with modern high tech options. Mike delivered the five day FETAC Green
Building course in Cork and Cloughjordan and has designed and built his own house in
Contemporary Dance Class in Release Technique
Release technique promotes relaxed moving using a series of exercises, beginning on the
floor and leading to full bodied movement standing -‐‑ all set to music. Professional dancer
and choreographer Julie Lockett will place the emphasis on minimising tension in the
body, in the search for clarity and fluidity and efficient use of energy and breath. Please
wear a couple of layers of comfortable clothing to facilitate ease of movement and to keep
Renewable Energy at Home
How do we keep our energy bills down when oil has doubled in price in the past three
years? Duncan Martin explains the sources of renewable energy, debunks the hype in the
advertising and identifies the best bets for the home. The session will be designed for
complete beginners but opportunity will be provided for those with relevant experience to
share it with the group. Duncan has been involved in the design and operation of the
district heating system in the ecovillage since 2003. A Chartered Engineer and Chartered
Environmentalist, he was formerly Senior Lecturer at the University of Limerick.
In Irish word ‘ʹMeitheal’ʹ evokes the sense of community spirit that brings groups of
neighbours and friends to work and create together. In this Meitheal you can work with
the ecovillage community on a gardening project and leave a lasting-‐‑ and much
appreciated-‐‑ legacy of your visit to Cloughjordan.
Dirt Cheap Construction-‐‑ An Introduction to Cob Building
Take the first steps towards building a home for yourself with the earth beneath your feet.
Find out how mud and straw can be used to sculpt cheap but beautiful structures and try
it for yourself on the day. Please bring a change of clothing and footwear, something you
don’ʹt mind getting muddy. This course is being facilitated by Eileen Flanagan, a structural
engineer and artist who is currently putting the finishing touches on her own earth house
in the ecovillage.
Learnings to Take Home to your Community
The final session of the weekend creates an interactive space that brings together many of
the themes and concepts discussed over the weekend. In this facilitated discussion, we
work together to assess how we can bring these principles of sustainability, resilience and
inclusiveness to our communities and daily lives.