Amma’s visit and the GreenFriends Table.

We were delighted to have so many visits the GreenFriend’s table when we were blessed with Amma’s visit this October. The table was busy over the weekend and full of productive and inspiring conversations. We have identified 3 new possible woodland sites to add to the sites in Cork and Donegal.

We would love you to be part of the GreenFriend’s native woodlands and nature reserve movement and are open to welcoming all skill sets from management, fundraising to planting trees. Please contact us at greenfriends@ammaireland.org with woodlands in the subject bar.





Planting In Meelin 19th+ 20th of November 2019

We are getting ready here in Meelin for our next planting days, scheduled on Saturday 19th  & 20th of November. We are ordering the 600 native and indigenous trees and their protection, preparing the site and deciding what trees to plant where.

You are most welcome to join us on either or both planting days. We will begin at 9 am each day, but appreciate that people may be coming from all over Ireland. Training will be provided. Children of all ages are welcome and are actively encouraged to get involved. Please bring Warm waterproof clothes, and footwear.

Meelin is located 1 hour outside Limerick. Directions to Meelin: https://goo.gl/maps/aGx3dVeSdbU2

Please let us know as soon as you can if you can join us, so that we may work together to coordinate carpooling, food sharing, tool bringing because we need shovels and rakes. Please contact Roisin at greenfriends@ammaireland.org with woodlands in the subject bar.

Helping with buying trees + tree vouchers

 We welcome all donations, 100% of which go towards buying trees and tree protection, because we are a fully volunteer run organization. Tree vouchers, which make beautiful gifts, are also available.  http://ammaireland.org/gf-amma-woodland.html#meelin_trees

We look forward to seeing you in Meelin.


[Author: Roisin Byrne, voluntary consultant landscape architect and woodland + nature reserves coordinator for GreenFriends Ireland]





Meelin, Clare, Tallow and Dublin, we are sowing acorns anywhere we can.

[Author: Roisin Byrne, voluntary consultant landscape architect and woodland + nature reserves coordinator for GreenFriends Ireland]

We were on our way into Citywest Hotel Saturday 1st of October, to meet with other volunteers to prepare for Amma’s visit on the 14-15th of October when Noah spotted a mass of acorns under the oak trees. We couldn’t stop right then but as the day went by, we swapped stories with some of the many volunteers of their acorn adventures. To store or sow straight away? How to store? Spacing? Soil? How to transplant? Animals misgive? Frost?

We did sow 160 acorns on 24th of September on the Meelin woodlands and nature reserve. These acorns were selected from just under 200 which we, 6 children and 3 moms, had collected the week before from Tomnafinnoge wood near Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, a beautiful native woodland. [http://tinahely.ie/walking/tomnafinnoge-woods/] We planted these at in a 4-foot turned over bed, a hand span apart. It took three of us just about an hour to turn the bed and 15 minutes to sow the acorns. Many hands make light work, and its more fun too. planting-acorns-in-meelin. The day after that sowing we visited Irelands very first Greenfriend’s woodland, in Corofin, planted 7 years ago. John Fisher, guardian of the woodland said ‘the woodland wouldn’t of happened without the Greenfriends volunteers’ and now the trees are 4-5 meters high, with many the oak among them. john-paddy-noah-in-clare John Fisher, guardian of the Corofin woodland has much experiential based advice for us on our acorn-planting quest. He himself had guerrilla planted oaks in Bristol planting 3 at a time saplings, which had grown from oaks he had sown. He marked where he had planted these on a book. He had been inspired he said by the animation The Man Who Planted Trees https://youtu.be/KTvYh8ar3tc.

Coincidentally Paddy McMahan, guardian of the Meelin woodlands and nature reserve had show us this same video just the day before to inspire us as we were about to plant our acorns.

John and I agree its best to plant straight away where possible. John pointed out its not necessary to be very fussy about spacing, or how much cover the acorns need, these are hardy things. Acorns produce a taproot and so when they emerge, and are ready to transplant that taproot can be cut a little to encourage a more fibrous root ball. Close spacing will encourage to trees to grow upwards too. If storing the acorns should not be allowed to be too moist, or they will rot, nor dry too much that they lose their vitality. Storing in a hessian sac is recommended.

Back in Citywest, Gordan is telling of how some animal wiped out his acorns which he had transplanted after they had germinated. He had found out its a good idea to let the acorns dry on perorated trays in a location where lots of fresh air can move very freely. He just happened to have a nice big bag so we went out to gather acorns, collecting off the paths, discarding the many nibbled ones to gather about 300 or so. Sue and Eefja will plant their 60 or so straightaway when they get to Tallow and Clare. The rest will be carefully stored to prepare them to return to the Greenfriends table at Citywest on the 14th. We’d love to see you there and hear your acorn stories! We all have some knowledge and it’s so nice to share stories of our endeavours to plant trees, after all many hands make light work, and its more fun too.


If you’d like to work together with us, we would be delighted [link]

IMG_2310On the 5th of March 2015 Green Friends Ireland Planted 601 native Irish Trees in Meelin Co. Cork.


We had mixed Irish weather, sunny spells, little rain and a spectacular rainbows combined with a wonderful group of good hearted people. These Greenfriends came together, from all over Ireland; Waterford, Dublin, Wicklow, Cork and Clare, to help plant 601 trees. We had all ages, and all ranges of experience. Everyone came with smiles and good humour, glad of the nice weather, the good soil and beautiful views from the site of the new woodlands in Meelin.

Having a delicious lunch brought by all and served to us with love by the kind folk working away inside helped sustain us through a great days work.

The trees are all native and some indigenous, grown from Irish seed. The mix includes two species of birch, two species of native Irish cherry, crab apple, hazel and mountain ash. Willow and Alder form a windbreak on the steep slope. Lovingly planted through the mix are fifty oaks. The wonderful thing about people coming to plant trees as volunteers is the extra care, which the trees receive, at this important point in their life’s. The next five years will be important for the trees too, and after that the habitat will have its own equilibrium and need only minimal care and management. Evidence of rabbits necessitated rabbit protection.

All our trees and their protection were generously sponsored by donations to Green Friends Ireland. Originally we thought we could plant two hundred trees. Imagine our delight at being able to plant six hundred, and have enough help to be able to get it done in one day? We are deeply grateful.

getgrowing May West Cork-2016

GreenFriends Ireland are happy to announce another residential GetGrowing course in at Hagal Farm, West Cork April 29th eve to Mon May 2nd 2016.

PayPal Link



What it is: 


GetGrowing is a hands-on course that teaches how to grow your own, healthy food easily and successfully in whatever space you have available – be it a piece of land, garden, paved yard or balcony. 

The popular course concentrates on the most useful methods to start an organic vegetable garden from scratch, how to sow and plant, care for, feed and protect vegetable plants in harmony with nature. At the same time it provides the basic insight and understanding for raising healthy and vigorous plants year after year. Topics include garden design, crop rotation, beds and container systems, feeding your soil, composting, natural pest control and much more. 

The teaching is accompanied by a 100-pages, fully coloured, step by step manual to serve as a reference guide and to refresh and deepen what you have learned during the course. 


How it came about: 

The GetGrowing project was developed in 2010 by non-professional volunteers in the spirit of service to society with the aim to help people to be more self-reliant and to be able to grow at least part of their food. It has since spread to many different countries. 


Who it is for: 


The course is meant for beginners or improvers but is also suitable for people who already have knowledge and experience and wish to pass it on by becoming a teacher themselves. 


Lovely West Cork



We planted 603 native Irish trees, on land donated by Paddy

Heres some footage


This Christmas while visiting the wonderful Amritapuri in Kerala , headquarters of Embracing the World NGO , I had the pleasure of teaching GetGrowing to an eclectic bunch of up and coming gardeners.


GetGrowing is a wonderful way to learn how to grow organic vegetables with no prior experience necessary. The GetGrowing course has been translated into French German and Italian so far and is taught in a number of countries worldwide.

Course attendees can become GetGrowing teachers once they have a little experience, and we teach this course for free ! Costs associated with the course are passed onto the attendees, so generally the price is very low.


All food and other green waste from the 4000 residents at Amritapuri get composted at a local composting facility, where they can make compost in 2 months


As part of the course we visited the amazing vermi composting facility at Amritapuri, this facility is approx 50m x 20m and takes finished and filtered compost and using tiger worms , converts it into super vermi compost !


Worms !


Were planning a few more GetGrowing courses in Europe this spring, look out for courses in Cork Ireland , possibly UK and maybe even somewhere else.

If you’d like us to come and teach at a venue near you, please let us know !


Permaculture Course

@ The Hollies Centre

with Warren Brush

Internationally Renowned Permaculture Educator

Co-Founder of Quail Springs Permaculture and Casitas Valley Farm

www.quailsprings.org and www.casitasvalley.com


1st Day: Lessons of applied Permaculture from around the world

2nd Day: Urban Permaculture and Bio-Intensive Gardening

3rd Day: Patterns in Teaching for Permaculture and Beyond

Learn hands-on techniques for regenerative design and sustainable living.

Get inspired by one of the most experienced permaculture designers and educators

Time: 4 – 6 September 2015 Cost: € 90 per day

                                                            all 3 days: € 210

at The Hollies, near Enniskeane, West Cork

For bookings phone: 023 – 8847001

or e-mail: info@thehollies.ie website: thehollies.ie