An Ghrian Glas Farm, which is located in Ballymore, Co. Westmeath, is hosting an ‘open air life’ summer event series, supported by Creative Ireland and Westmeath County Council.

Events range from family camping on the nature friendly farm to an outdoor creative writing experience.

An Ghrian Glas farm is owned by Kate Egan, the 2019 Farming for Nature ambassador. She farms 9ac at Carricknagower, Ballymore.

“3ac are in mixed pasture and native woodland for horses. There are 2ac of nut and fruit orchard, 2ac of a developing food forest and 2ac for a market garden,” Kate said.

In normal times, Kate hosts international volunteers throughout the year, with the produce grown sold in health food shops, restaurants and a local box scheme offered in Ballymahon, Mullingar, Athlone and Dundrum (Co. Dublin).

Open air life

Restrictions under Covid-19 saw Kate having to reduce her plans for the business and put her workshops and tourism products on hold. Lack of childcare options meant she had to reduce her expectations of the volume of produce she could grow.

International volunteers were replaced by a wave of local volunteers who helped out in socially distanced ways on Mondays. Kate joined Neighbourfood and has been selling through this facility at Mullingar and Ballymahon.

Another positive development was that her community-supported agriculture scheme had an increase in participants. This is an initiative where people buy a farm membership at the start of the farming year, and receive a portion of the food grown on the farm every week in return for the year.

Open air life

Open air life

The family camping experience on the farm as part of open air life will include basic campcraft, outdoor cooking, nature games and a ‘meet the animals’ experience. It will run on July 10 and 11.

A nature toddler group will take place from on Fridays from 11:00a.m to 1:00p.m, from June 18, to July 23.

‘Free Your Wild Writer’ with writer and poet Colm Keegan along with Kate Egan, an outdoor creative writing experience with landscape activities and writing workshops in a Covid safe environment, will be held on June 19.

How to Build Everything out of Everything‘ with Australian eco-builder and teacher Harrison Gardner who is based in the west of Ireland, ran from May 31 to June 5, and which will again take place from June 7 to 12, is booked out.

Open air life

Limited places are available on the other open air life courses. For further information on open air life phone: 089 -6030410; or email: [email protected]