Posted by in Features.

Christmas Fair

Green Sod Ireland will hold its annual Christmas Fair on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December in the Nora Barnacle House Museum where we will be selling our exquisite organic jams, chutneys, preserves, made from the fruits of our organic fruit and vegetable garden in Carlow. Along with the preserves there will be an assortment of home-baking, Christmas flower arrangements and other festive items for sale. Refreshments will be available.

Open all day on Sat 7th and Sun 8th Dec., from 10am–4 pm. All are welcome. Tell your friends.

Our new look ‘Save a Sod’—the ideal Christmas Gift

Green Sod Ireland has the perfect environmentally friendly gift for you. For just €25 mounted, €35 framed, you will be delighting your friends, with not only a unique gift, but the fact that you will also be helping to save and protect Irish land for present and future generations. Each personalised certificate has its own individual ‘sod number’ to identify location of your sod. Save a Sod is an opportunity to literally save a sod of Irish land. This is a gift for the future. By saving a sod of Irish land you will be protecting Irish ecosystems for all our sakes.

Email us at: [email protected] to place your order.

Green Sod Ireland/Ard Bia Water Partnership

This summer Green Sod Ireland partnered with Galway’s famous award winning restaurant Ard Bia in an exciting new initiative which at a stroke reduces energy, waste and running costs and promotes a new way of thinking, while raising both funds and awareness for Green Sod Ireland. All of this, by installing the latest purifying water system from Fondisima Mineral Water, and refilling its water bottles.

Bottled water is now a common staple of restaurants, which go through a large amount of glassware. The majority of this is nowadays recycled; however, an environmental cost still exists in terms of the energy, fuel and water required for transporting and processing new glass for old. Ard Bia’s initiative cuts many of these steps out and reduces almost the entire process to an in-house operation, simply by refilling and reusing their stock of Fondisima bottles.

The water costs €2 (per table) to enjoy with your meal, with the proceeds going to Green Sod, to assist with our running costs. This initiative raised €1400 for Green Sod!


Claire King & Sheila Gallagher, Green Sod, Aoibheann McNamara & Ludo Chantrefoux, Ard Bia

Autumn Fair

We had a wonderful day for our Autumn Fair held in the lovely Nora Barnacle House Museum. We arrived early in the morning with the first chill of Autumn the shelves bursting with a variety of jams and chutneys which were made from the organic fruit trees growing on our land in Carlow, we also had delicious breads, cakes and treats made for us by friends of Green Sod Ireland. Míle buíochas to all our friends and supporters!


Volunteer Event

Saturday, 14th September, 2013 Volunteer Event, Connemara

A very enjoyable Volunteer Event was held recently in Connemara for our volunteers who came together from various parts of the country; it was a day of camaraderie, learning and of course fun. The group of fifteen volunteers set off on a beautiful morning, to walk along Killary Harbour.

The walk was led by Green Sod volunteer Mark O’Callaghan M.Sc., an ecologist and member of Connemara Walking Guides Association. Along the way Mark described the geology and landscape, and highlighted the biodiversity of the area, identifying a variety of plants such as ling (Calluna vulgaris), bell heather (Erica cinerea), cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix), and tormentil (Potentilla erecta).

At the summit of our walk we had a wonderful view of the piece of land at Salrock which was gifted to Green Sod by Eileen Coyne earlier this year, where Sheila spoke to us about this land and why it was given to Green Sod. Here, Mark spoke of the bogs, describing important peat-forming plants such as Sphagnum mosses, black bog-rush (Schoenus nigricans) and deergrass (Trichophorum germanicum) as well as drawing our attention to the rare birds—the Choughs—which made an appearance, which was very exciting to see.


Green Sod volunteers at Salrock, Connemara

Local resident of Salrock

In spite of being very well camouflaged we spotted this rare Large Marsh Grasshopper on the land at Salrock he drew our attention because of his distinctive characteristic sound.

Can you find him in the picture below?


Sponsored Cycle Body&Soul

It was wonderful to be nominated as the recipient of the Body&Soul sponsored cycle. “We nominated Green Sod as our chosen charity this year—for a couple of reasons. Apart from the fact that we love what they do and also their involvement with Body&Soul—SoulKids, we feel that their ethos ties in well with our sustainable policy in looking at ways to give back a little to the land that we are so reliant on to run our events.” Freddie Kirk of Body & Soul.

We would like to thank the team at Body&Soul, Give2go and also to our nine brave cyclists for their great generosity.


Still looking fit after their long cycle!

Foraging event

An Gáirdín is an ecological centre in Portumna, which showcases an amazing eco-building used for meetings, talks, and educational events. The varied nature of the gardens, with vegetable patches, grassy areas, hedgerows and orchards are an ideal environment for introductory foraging with Mary Bulfin.

Fifteen of us, of all ages, gathered in the main room, for a short introductory talk on how widespread wild foods are, as well as their nutritional benefits when compared with the mass-produced and cultivated foods we buy at the supermarket. We then made the most of the sunny day and headed out into the diverse gardens to forage, with questions and tips for preparation, cooking etc along the way.

Some of the plants we encountered were in the order of finding, as follows: Garlic mustard/Jack-by-the-hedge: A member of the cabbage family, used as a salad leaf. Many of this large family are edible, including Hairy Bittecress. Such leaves can be made into a pesto, using Irish cheese and rapeseed oil. Indeed, many leaves will keep for a time under oil. Another small leaf plant is Chickweed (Stellaria spp.)


Dryad’s saddle

Meitheals At Red Bog

The Meithels in ‘Red Bog’ since last autumn began with a walk around the site in November with the new group of volunteers. There was a discussion regarding its mission and how best to achieve that. Then it was straight into the start of the year’s work in the garden. Pruning of the apple trees commenced and clearing away of old vegetation.

This preparation work for spring was taken into the following Meithels, along with other jobs such as spreading of potash around all of the fruit bushes; ensuring the bushes got lots of potassium to promote a fruitful harvest in the coming picking season. There was mending of the wooden and wire constructions around the garden, these constructions are used to support the many fruit vegetable and berry bushes living in the garden.


Volunteers at work with David in the organic garden

And lots more

We were Shortlisted for the Vodafone World of Difference, well done to Nicola Winters getting short-listed to 20 from 400 applicants; participated in the EPA Sustainable Environment Research Workshop in September and NUI Galway, Research Showcase Event where we had an inspired chat with the leading environmentalist, Tony Juniper; we are very excited to be working with NALA (National Adult Literacy Association) on their online education programme with our Earth Literacy Modules.

We have appointed Jennifer Cunningham as our volunteer coordinator who has been busy attending volunteer fairs across the country; Martin Jakus, one of our Carlow volunteers has taken on the role of Red Bog Manager; we are working with marketing students from NUI Galway who are organising a fundraising and awareness project; we have been in consultation with Parks & Wildlife in regard to our land in Connemara; We are continuing to engage in Complexity and Collaboration meetings that commenced after our workshops in April with Prof. Eve Mitelton-Kelly and have found them to be a great source of creative thinking and inspiration.


We need YOU! Please consider spending €20 now to make Ireland a greener place. Log on to our website and become a member today, or write to us at Green Sod Ireland, 8 Bowling Green, Galway, Ireland. For a limited time, we will give each new member a gift of an organic Fair Trade cotton carrier bag.

Thank you! Your membership is greatly appreciated.

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Green Sod Ireland

“Protecting Irish ecosystems and educating people to be proactive in the preservation of nature”

Reg. Charity CHY 16961–8, Bowling Green, Galway. Ireland.