​Carraig Dúlra, a permaculture education and research project, created by Mike and Suzie Cahn 10 years ago is a social enterprise. Suzie teaches many courses on and off site in school and community gardens, and together with a local group they run a vegetable box scheme called OOOOBY.Suzie Cahn in her garden, and below the barn and kitchen at Carraig Dulra

Their 3.8 acre smallholding in Wicklow, has been designed and developed in collaboration with many volunteers, students and tutors and now contains:

  • 1.5 acre native woodland

  • 0.5 acre food forest and apple orchard

  • different types of organic annual gardens:

  • the circle garden

  • a herb labyrinth insectary

  • a traditional market garden

  • an allotment sized garden

  • large greenhouse with perennial polycultures and annual beds

  • a mixed material (round poles, cob, straw bale), naturally built round barn with a reciprocal roof

  • a washhouse/sauna cabin

  • pond and swale systems

  • indoor kitchen, clad with forestry waste timbers, and up-cycled dumped kitchen counters and cabinets

  • outdoor cooking area: with cob oven, biogas generation, rocket stoves and BBQ

Preparing the veg box OOOOBY at Carraig Dulra“Creating a resilient, integrated, holistic, permaculture design was important from the start of the project. I learn constantly as we implement and change the design. This informs my teaching and design work with others locally and all over Ireland.

It is great to network with like minded people, and I hope to learn from others and build the capacity of permaculture projects I am involved in here in Ireland and share ours in return.”

Suzie participated in Irish television’s Supergarden 2015, creating a permaculture designed urban garden. She says her favourite tweet when the show aired was “Perma What?” as it reminded her that there are many people still to share permaculture with.


The 2016 Carraig Dúlra permaculture design certificate course is taking bookings at www.dulra.org/courses/pdc

Carraig Dúlra are group members of the Permaculture Association. Find out how membership can benefit your group, business, or houshold.