From tiny beginnings to tiny homes... things are certainly growing at OURganic Gardens.

Joanne Butler – OURganic Gardens

Joanne Butler has been working hard in the community gardens around Donegal these past four years, showing people how to grow their own food, live sustainably and to look after the environment.

Since 2013 Joanne’s small enterprise OURganic Gardens has been working with community groups aided by the ETB and the local authority. Through her teaching she has won awards with Save Our Planet, the Irish Food Writers Guild and has only recently been shortlisted with a star award through Aontas – the National Adult Learning Organisation.

Budding projects

Things are slowly changing this year as Joanne embarks on projects closer to home in more ways than one. This year sees Joanne step out onto her own turf running workshops and community projects from her home in Gortahork. With the help of the newly formed Gairdin Gort a Choirce, Joanne at OURganic Gardens will co-ordinate a number of projects that will empower local people and groups to once again grow their own food and in turn sustain themselves and their own community projects.

Joanne Butler - OURganic Gardens

The first of these projects the SEED Project (Social Enterprise Empowering Development) sees a group of volunteers coming together on a weekly basis to sow seeds and grow plants and flowers for tidy towns and community groups, these plants will be available to all in the form of packs – small , medium and large gardens, herb garden, polytunnel and pollinator packs.

The project runs every Thursday for volunteers to help on site, new members are more than welcome.

All hands on deck

Also onsite is the monthly community garden gathering (runs one Tuesday a month). This project has already started, but with a growing number of interest and no charge for attending then this meetup is certainly gearing up to have a great Spring into Summer and beyond! The morning sessions will be hands on helping in the community garden while the afternoon session hosts guest speakers coming into show other skills that go hand in hand in the garden ie willow weaving, herbal remedy making etc.

Joanne Butler - OURganic Gardens

Joanne with ladies from Ardara Community Garden

And then there are the day workshops…

For now, this coming March will see the first of many one day workshops held throughout the year in all things sustainable, green and ethical! The very first of these will be an introduction to Tiny Homes and will take place 11th March @OURganic Gardens. Run by Suzie Cahn from Carriag Dulra, this day promises to be well informed for those looking to know more about the tiny house movement or those considering downsizing their lifestyles.

So as you can see, Joanne has her hands full this year, not forgetting to mention the Donegal Community Garden Network, Community Gardens Ireland and the Environmental PPN that Joanne is so passionately involved with.

But she admits that a lot of help and support comes from friends and family… especially her three children and her husband who are the four main reasons she wants to help in one small way create a better, greener, healthier future for us all @OURganic Gardens and beyond!

Joanne is also a member of the Donegal Woman in Business. For more details on how to get involved or booking details, please contact Joanne on 0861789971 or visit OURganicgardens on Facebook.