Blissberry Social Farm trying to do its bit to broaden public knowledge about #socialfarming – win win 4 all SoFAB Pilots. @lairdhse06 @leitrimdevco

Happy and excited to be joining this years JFC Innovation Awards for RuralBusiness as one of the category finalists #socialfarming

All finalists will be profiled in the Irish Farmers’ Journal shortly (Blissberry Farm the 8th May next?) and extensive mentoring, business support and PR opportunities will be generated from the awards.

All finalists will go forward to the All Ireland stage from which the overall and category winners will be chosen.

THE AWARDS FINAL 13th May Claregalway Hotel Claregalway
Co. Galway

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“High Shelves and Long Counters” – the story of Irish shops… #Donegal #images #stories #ruralireland

“High Shelves and Long Counters” – the story of Irish shops… #Donegal #images #stories #ruralireland

For a number of years, photographer Heike Thiele and writer Winifred McNulty from Blissberry Farm Mountcharles have captured images and stories from the last traditional shops in the North West of Ireland. Their journey – across Donegal, Leitrim, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Sligo and Cavan -has taken them through an Aladdin’s Cave of drapery and hardware, to abandoned creameries and shops where empty shelves are filled only with the stories of different times. Based on a series of highly successful exhibitions across the North West, this book is a highly visual record of the stories of changing face of rural Ireland.

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Local councillors will you stand up #4MentalHealth in #LE14? YOU can promote good mental health and ensure social inclusion of people with mental health difficulties in our communities.

Dear Local Election Candidates,

As part of the 4MentalHealth campaign, I’m asking you to make mental health a priority during this election campaign. Please sign up to 4 key actions to support mental health locally, if you are elected:

Demand improved community-based mental health services locally for children and adults, and the implementation of the current mental health policy A Vision for Change.
Commit to funding for local community mental health groups that support recovery from mental health difficulties.
Ensure that there is effective communication between local authorities and community mental health teams, in order to prevent homelessness.
Pass a Council resolution stating that in its work, the Council will seek to promote mental health and well-being among the whole local population.
One in seven adults in Ireland will have experienced a mental health difficulty in the last year. Please support the 4MentalHealth campaign and support mental health locally.

Yours sincerely,

Larry Masterson
Blissberry Social Farm
Mountcharles

Local councillors will you stand up #4MentalHealth in #LE14? YOU can promote good mental health and ensure social inclusion of people with mental health difficulties in our communities.

Dear Local Election Candidates,

As part of the 4MentalHealth campaign, I’m asking you to make mental health a priority during this election campaign. Please sign up to 4 key actions to support mental health locally, if you are elected:

Demand improved community-based mental health services locally for children and adults, and the implementation of the current mental health policy A Vision for Change.
Commit to funding for local community mental health groups that support recovery from mental health difficulties.
Ensure that there is effective communication between local authorities and community mental health teams, in order to prevent homelessness.
Pass a Council resolution stating that in its work, the Council will seek to promote mental health and well-being among the whole local population.
One in seven adults in Ireland will have experienced a mental health difficulty in the last year. Please support the 4MentalHealth campaign and support mental health locally.

Yours sincerely,

Larry Masterson
Blissberry Social Farm
Mountcharles

Want to make a confident start with Beekeeping – Check out today at our Apiary @sthDonegalBees

Introduction Course
We are running an introductory course at our Apiary today in collaboration with Donegal FRC & Donegal ETB that will provide enough information and guidance to allow you to make a confident start with your beekeeping.

During the course we will cover:

The social organisation of a colony
Hives and other equipment
Looking after your honeybees through the year
Where to obtain your bees and equipment
Honey and beeswax from the hive
Where to keep your honeybees
Keeping your bees healthy
Flowers for bees

Practical Sessions in the ACTIVE SEASON at our Apiary
Later in the active season we will offer practical sessions (held again in our Apiary at Blissberry Social Farm Mountcharles) which will focus on honeybee handling and management skills.

Class size for the practical sessions will be kept small (maximum of 12) to ensure you have ample opportunity to gain hands on experience. A bee suit/fail will be provided for you to use during these sessions.

Further info from Derek Byrne (085) 174 0647 or Peter O’Connor @sthDonegalBees

Blissberry Healthy Gardening Programme 2014 celebrates start of season.

Every TUESDAY 10.30 during the growing season at Blissberry Farm

Are you interested in gardening? Or have you ever wanted to become involved in a community garden? Then consider coming along to Blissberry Social Farm this summer.

Located along the Rock Road near (keep left) the intersection at Doorin Line and crossing to Eagles Nest the Garden allows new and experienced gardeners to work in a safe and friendly environment. It allows anyone to try their hand at gardening and enables people to learn from and connect with one another while gardening. Tea breaks are essential!

The Garden started with Donegal Family Resource Centre. Since its creation last year the Garden has generated a lot of positive community involvement, and those who are interested in gardening are encouraged to try it out.

While the Garden cannot technically be considered an organic garden, commercial pesticides are not allowed.

The Garden survives on volunteer participation. All plot holders are expected to help in some way. One can help by keeping the common areas groomed, pitching in on improvement projects, and helping new members.

James McCrudden our ‘resident gardener’ from Donegal ETB will be on site every Tuesday to demonstrate and share garden advice.

Latest addition …
We hope to have our new bulletin board on our website (very shortly) which will display. bulletins on current garden pests and practices plus compost, rainwater collection. It aims to demonstrate ‘rabbit & hare’ exclusion techniques and much more ….

For more information, call Larry at 087 7642917

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First Course in 2014 starts this Saturday 26th April at Blissberry Apiary Mountcharles by South Donegal Beekeepers Association members Derek Byrne and Peter O’Connor

Out first beekeeping course at our Apiary at Blissberry Social Farm Mountcharles will be delivered by Derek Byrne and Peter O’Connor South Donegal Beekeepers Association for local community members who wish to start keeping bees and for those local beekeepers who wished to improve their beekeeping skills.

Workshops will give participants an overview of the craft of beekeeping, starting with a presentation about honeybees, followed by a guided tour with practical demonstrations at our new Apiary – which will allow all the opportunity to get up close to our bees!

Separate practical sessions will take place down at the apiary during the active hands on sessions which will focus on bee handling and management skills.

Class size for these practical sessions will be kept small to ensure everyone gets ample opportunity to gain hands on experience. Bee suits REQUIRED through support from Donegal Family Resource Centre, Donegal ETB and Donegal Bees will be provided for use during these sessions.

Contact Larry at 087 7642917 for further information