We are living of grid on a 10 acre piece of land, surrounded by the mountains of Cork and Kerry. There are different kinds of areas on different heights on the Tir na Beo. Woodland areas, bog land bits and various types of little fields and gardens. The Gougane Barra National Park and the Lee Valley with the beautiful chain of lakes forming Lough Allua are close by. This is a very rural area and the nearest village is about 5 km away. The distance to the west coast is about 25 km.
History, Philosophy, Life and Plans:
We are inspired by people who live and work on their own land self-sufficient as much as possible and in harmony with nature. Being more healthy and happy. Eating good organic food is also essential for us and our way of living. To us this kind of life is perfect to reveal our potentials.
We are preserving and restoring nature ongoing every year and we would like to share and enjoy this land and this beautiful area with other people in a community setting. While maintaining the sense for individuality and privacy. Eventually we want to inspire like-minded people to settle on some potential locations close by to create a larger scale of community in the long run.
Torsten got this land about 7 years ago and this is the second year that we are living permanently on it. It was a long process to get to this point and we can feel the difference within this total commitment. We are more connected to the land, more settled in life and getting more back in return. This strong connection is very inspiring and we are gaining new ideas for the present and future. Every year developing the land and its infrastructure is transforming it more and more into the land of our dreams.
We are in a very early state of our community set up. Long-term residents at the moment are Torsten and John. The Idea and focus is to create a circle of people with certain different abilities and passions, all united by the same vision of life. This vision will be based on the benefit from each other on various levels.
Meanwhile there is a various number of personal ongoing processes. To us it is very good to discover our natural rhythms and pace in time for example. On a daily base and also over the entire year. In return we got more relaxation and a healthier relationship to time management and time and age in general.
An ongoing project is to bring the native Irish nature back in place as much as possible. To do so we are focus on specific areas, gathering and planting native plants from the area. In the same time we are doing researches and learning more about specific plants, potential food and medicine.
It is exciting to getting to know more and more plants and combining that knowledge slowly step by step with the idea of permaculture every year. We are at the beginning and there is a lot to learn and to improve.
Another example for ongoing process is to gain experience in different kinds of community settings to find out the ideal way of living together.
Potentials for the future are to use parts of the Tir na Beo to provide a natural enjoyable ambience for certain events, treatments, workshops, outdoor education/activities etc. or just for accommodation, camping and relaxing.
Once the basic setup on the land is finished another focus will be to install alternative energy systems.
Volunteer Accommodation, Facilities and more:
The communal kitchen and social space is a wooden round house with a large fire-pit featured in the middle. Our rustic facilities include also an outdoor kitchen with seating and an open fire. We have a functional clean compost toilet system, fresh clean well water and a stone-pool next to a stream on the land. There are also two stone framed wells and 3 ponds.
Your sleeping accommodation will be a yurt (6 diameter) with a stove and a kitchen incl. gas cooker, a large bell tent or a caravan.
Appart from that we do have 2 camper vans, a caravan and another yurt on the land, where John lives. Also 3 big tunnel-shape constructions. Torsten lives in one of them together with his 3 dogs. The other two are storage and working areas. There is no house and no main electricity or main water on the land. We are getting power for batteries, power-tools und welding from two generators. There is also a power back up to use computer and internet if there is need. We also have a digger and a dumper at our disposal to help us with the heavy ground and stone work.
Lifestyle in the Summer:
The weather including daylight and darkness has a big impact on our life in general. We learned to accept and appreciate each kind of condition. Weather is the main aspect to consider every day. Especially gathering and preparing wood and doing the stockpiling is an important part of our routine to secure dry firewood every day. If there is too much rain we are not working outdoors. Usually we switch towards indoor work or spend time around the fire in the roundhouse by chilling out, talking, cooking, playing darts, board games or reading books. We have a little library, as well as some musical instruments (guitar, bongos and a didgeridoo), or we just disappear individually into our private spaces.
A usual morning routine would be that the first one up bakes bread for everybody in a frying pan on the open fire. Sometimes cooking is part of the job for helpers and there are lots of nice recipes to cook on the fire.
We have canadian canoes and trips on the lakes can be arranged. We also have 2-4 bicycles, which can be used for trips anytime.
We will take up to 4 volunteers for a minimum stay of 4 weeks as long as all of us are happy with that.
What do we expect from you:
It is good and more than fair enough if you mainly wanting to getting to know new countries, cultures and different lifestyles. Also wanting to improve your English language skills and getting to now nice new people. Nevertheless we are mainly looking for people who are on the way to make this way of living to their own path of life to go for. Who are in consequence of that wanting to gain inspiration, knowledge, skills or experience, or already looking for the right place to saddle down. Alternatively you should be at least deeper motivated than to match the required internship for your study or just to have a brief experience in between the holiday gap of very different studies and life plans.
You are more than welcome to involve yourself on various levels and different areas. That could be new ideas or inspirations as much as physical work or other focus areas. Like developing and implementing business or network strategies for example. Or you could use this location to offer our own workshop in various fields. The Tir na Beo could be also just an inspiring and useful area to specify yourself over time in different areas like natural medicine, outdoor-cooking or stonework for example.
If, after a while, your experience here on the Tir na Beo would turn into a long-term living perspective we could give you a specific area to your own disposal and would change arrangements.
I was born in 1967 in Hamburg, Germany. After school I did different kinds of training and studies. To me, the most important outcome of those times was to find out more about who I am and what I am looking for in life. An on-going part of my life was always the joy of traveling and being outdoors in nature. After living in different alternative settings for many years I was ready to focus consistently on this beautiful piece of land in the mountains of Cork. Finally I found a home here, where I really want to be and stay. To live so close to nature makes me feel more intensive, more creative and curious. It has an ongoing positive influence to my personality and my path of live. In this days my biggest passion is to bring the native Irish plants back in place and restore nature as much as possible, especially woodland. This is also my way to gain knowledge and awareness about plants, food and medicine.
John:aka 'heyoka spirit'
I am the co creator of this off grid project. I came to this project with over 25 years experience having lived in and constructed Tipi's and Yurts for myself personally in community settings and commercially. I spent of number of years living horse drawn where i traveled to many towns and villages across Ireland, experiencing many alternatives communities and ways of living. I have a lot of experience working with horses and I have a passion for gardening, and we will be aiming for food self sufficiency in the future
These days I would describe myself as a survivalist prepper, I'm passionate about all off grid living techniques from alternative power to long term food storage.
I am always happy to share and demonstrate some of the skills I have acquired over the years, and I look forward even more to learning new skills from different peoples perspectives that I'm certain helpers will bring to the project. In the past I was only able to spend short amounts of time on the project but this year with less outside commitments I'm looking forward too being more hands on.expect to learn and use every day bush craft fire lighting skills,cooking with raw ingredients and over an open fire and as I'm looking to get back into tipi manufacture pole gathering and preparing as well as cover sewing.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help with Computers / internet
We are more a part of subculture in Ireland. Not part of the common traditional Irish way of living in this days. This subculture exist since the 60´s, when lots of hippies and alternative people came to Ireland. Since then this kind of culture was growing and establishing as a part of culture in this country. Even when there are different variations of alternative ways of life. That involves Irish people and lots of people from different countries. Mainly from Europe. We belonging to the growing number of alternative people in Ireland, who want to live off-grid in a sustainable way, involving nature and permaculture as much as possible. And also being very critical towards the common western society way of life. This alternative way of life is a kind of worldwide culture and not linked to a particular country.
The help we need depends from the particular projects, seasons and priorities we are approaching at certain times throughout the year. And so this is just a general overview over potential work for you:
Gardening, Planting, Maintenance, Clearing Areas, Woodwork (Firewood, Construction/Building), Stonework (making paths & steps, dry stonewall Building), Cooking, native plantgathering and planting to restore areas. There is also a variation of potential help on top of this physical areas.
Bell Tent, Yurt, Tipi , Roundhouse or Caravan
Vegetarian food will be fully provided, 7 days a week. Mainly vegatable and salat from the garden. Depending on the season.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week