Forest Garden Film Thursday, August 16 Cottage Bar at 8:00pm

There will be a screening of the film ‘A Forest Garden Year with Martin Crawford’ followed by a talk on edible plants on Thursday 16th August in a local venue to be confirmed.

In 1994 Martin Crawford started to plant a forest garden on a two-acre site on the Dartington estate in south Devon, and it is now largely mature. In this film he explains the principles of forest gardening, which is a kind of agroforestry. Forest gardens: are largely self-sustaining, containing a large number of very diverse species; provide a wide variety of fruits, nuts, edible leaves, medicinal plants and fibres; are self-fertilising by the use of specific plants which supply nutrients; use a large number of perennial crops, and are highly productive in terms of land use. The documentary was filmed over a ten-month period to show the forest garden in all seasons of the year.


Botanist Matthew O’Toole (NUIG) will give an introductory talk on wild edible plants (and seaweeds), what potential foods we ignore everyday. How these plants can be eaten, used in recipes to give new tastes etc. This talk aims to serve as a general introduction only.


Green Drinks Thursday, August 9, 2012 8:00pm

Architect Féile Butler will be the guest speaker at the August 2012 Green Drinks Galway event which takes place at 8pm this Thursday 9th August at the Cottage Bar, Lower Salthill. Her talk is entitled ‘Building with Mud: Reviving an Ancient Tradition in a Modern World’. All are welcome to attend!

Topics to be covered include: a brief history of mud buildings in Ireland, the environmental benefits of using this material, the personal benefits of using this material, the limitations and challenges of building with mud in a modern, regulated society and where to from here.

Féile will give a presentation at 8pm and then take questions from the audience. Many people stay on for a drink or two afterwards.

Féile Butler (MRIAI B.Arch Dip.Arch Conservation Grade III) is an architect based in Sligo, who graduated from D.I.T. Bolton Street in 1997. She became an member of the R.I.A.I. (Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland) in 2001. Having lived and worked as an architect in Dublin, London, Sydney, Adelaide and Queenstown, New Zealand, her experience in the southern hemisphere exposed her to a vast range of alternative materials and building technologies which, in turn, sparked her interest in sustainable design. On her return to Ireland in 2004 she worked with Colin Bell Architects in Sligo, a leading sustainable architecture practice, for four years.

In 2005, Féile and her husband, Colin, trained in the art of cob (earth) building with the Cob Cottage Company. The following year, they attended the School of Natural Building in Coquille, Oregon, run by Cob Cottage. In 2008, they embarked on building their own 130m² hybrid cob-and-timber-frame home. The house, completed in 2011, was built from soil excavated on site and over 80% of the other building materials were salvaged.

Féile carried out extensive research into conservation heritage-style construction for this project, as most of the materials were natural and many of the building techniques were ancient. She gained her Conservation Architect Grade III Accreditation from the R.I.A.I. in 2009. In the same year, she advised on the repair of a 150 year old earth-built cottage.

During her career to date, Féile has been involved in the design of one-off houses, apartment complexes, retail units, office fit-outs, boutique hotels, church renovations and schools. Since establishing Roots Architecture in 2009, much of her work has comprised of renovations to traditional stone cottages and associated extensions.

In 2010 and 2011, Féile was a course tutor for the Sligo Hub of Green Works.