Friday, May 27, 2011

Mullingar Summer Camp

Once again, I'm planning a summer camp - at Mullingar Educate Togethr NS. We'll be making the most of the organic garden that was a part of the school's 2011 Pride of Place award - it's their third win, and their second in this location.

Summer Camps are funny things. Sure, they occupy the children during the
long school holidays (and get them in out of the Irish Summer weather!). But
they generally fall into two categories - Sport or the Arts. Once again I'm bucking this trend to teach students about Science through Nature.

Readers of this blog know that I have been been gardening ʻforeverʼ. I hope to share some of my enthusiasm for nature and the outdoors in this camp.

On top of my BSc, I have just finished a Post Graduate Diploma in Education in Maynooth, so I'll be putting some of what I've learned into action.

ʻCurious Kids – Science & Nature Summer Campʼ is 5 days of fun activities for
7-12 year olds. It runs fro July 25th to July 29th.

Using the school garden and common household ingredients, students will explore Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Participants will harvest,
cook and eat fresh produce from the garden. They will plant and save seeds,
and make seed bombs. Like all good scientists, they will keep a record –last
years participants still refer to the diary where they documented their experiences and observations.

The cost is €70 per child; if you have more than one child attending there are discounts available. For bookings/more information, contact Anna on (087) 2222562 or send an email to

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A taste of Westmeath - calling all locavores!

A busy weekend ahead for me, with my soapmaking course on Saturday, and 'A Taste of Westmeath' in the Park hotel on Sunday.

Doors open at 12:00, the usual purveyors of fine food - including my brother Joe's Organic Beef and Pork.

There will be cookery demonstrations from Fergal O'Donnell from the Fatted Calf and Gary O'Hanlon of Viewmount House - I'm looking forward to seeing these guys in action. Looking at the menus in both restaurants is making me think about some trips further afield for fine dining in the near future, now that my studying is done.

There will be lots of free samples, and wine tasting (probably not local, though) - I'm hoping to munch my way around all the stands.

€3 is the admission charge - kids are free. See you there!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Return to the blog

Hi -

I've been away from this blog for ages - and my 3 gardens are suffering from similar neglect! My college course is almost over, and I'm looking forward to getting blogging again - and to getting my hands really dirty over the next few weeks getting the garden in order.

Apologies if you posted comments and I didn't publish or reply - it was a hectic time (though very enjoyable) and I hope that any courses I run will ebenfit form all that I learned about being a teacher.

Speaking of dirty hands (and teaching) , I'm also planning a soapmaking course for next weekend - if there's enough interest.

As always, it will take place in Mullingar Educate Together NS, next Saturday May 28th.

Time - 10:00am to 3:00pm. Cost €60.

Participants will learn how to make soap from scratch, in a safe and playful environment - and will go home with recipes, and soap that they made, coloured, and scented themselves. Essential oils, colourants and organic additives - like calundula petals, poppy seeds, cosmetic clays will be provided.

If you're interested, please let me know asap. If you'd like to learn to make soap, and this time doesn't suit, let me know that you're interested and if you'd prefer an evening course or a Sunday - or a different Saturday.

Contact me - at, 0872222562

If you have any friends you think might be interested, please let them know too!

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