Feeding Ourselves Gathering 2023

Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th March 

WeCreate Workspace, Cloughjordan Community Farm, Cloughjordan Ecovillage 

For 12 years agroecological farmers and workers, community food and environmental advocates, and organisations and people involved in food cooperatives, fair food systems, and rural regeneration have come together in Cloughjordan to explore a regenerative and more resilient way to nourish the land and feed ourselves.

Do you want to attend the annual Feeding Ourselves gathering in Cloughjordan?

This gathering is designed to facilitate community learning and movement building. It will be an opportunity to celebrate and connect to nature, food and community, to learn more about practicing food sovereignty, seed sovereignty, agroecology, and community-supported local food systems. 

Feeding Ourselves is a space of solidarity, to listen to each other, to understand and help amplify each other’s work, to contribute to the practices and policies needed to restore our fragile ecosystems and explore the mechanisms for a deep and genuine just transition in farming, food and land use. 

Our weekend together also includes food, music, practical workshops, thematic tours, walks and talks. Break out conversations on CSAs, Diversity in Agriculture, Policy Testing, Seeds Food Hubs and Soil and Biodiversity. 

Partners include; Cultivate, Cloughjordan Community Farm, Solid Network, Open Food Network Ireland, Talamh Beo, CSA Network Ireland, UCC Centre for Cooperative Studies, the Environmental Pillar, Forum Synergies, DESIRA, Seeds4All, ARC2020

Now is a critical time to connect up with each other again!  From seeds to soil, from community food facilities to local food economies – lets meet, greet, learn, network, celebrate nature and community, and move us towards a just and resilient local food future.

Places are limited, booking is essential. Accommodation is very limited in Cloughjordan – Camper Vans are an option. 

The full programme with options for both days with the speaker, themes and options at this years Feeding Ourselves can be found down below.  Or download it here to your device!

10.00 – Voices from the field
Breakfast session sharing stories of where we are at and a facilitated discussion on what is emerging for regenerative, community-led, solidarity food initiatives.

11.30 – Feeding Ourselves. Growing a stronger movement
Strengthening the solidarity food movement on the island and supporting a regenerative and more resilient way to nourish the land and feed ourselves. Ruth Hegerty leads a conversation on the future of the Feeding Ourselves Network.

14.00 – Break out sessions

    • Community Supported Agriculture
      CSA Ireland leads a conversation on the opportunities and challenges of this partnership approach between farmers and the local community.
    • Diversity in Agriculture
      A conversation on what gender equality looks like in agriculture and how we guarantee this right for all vulnerable farm and land workers.
    • Policy Weaving
      Oliver Moore leads a conversation with partner organisations, identifying synergy and increasing cohesion between different policy matters.
    • Textiles from Seeds to Fibre
      Round table discussion hosted by Seeds4All about seed production for rural development and resilience / in relation to textile production in Ireland
    • Digitalisation – Open Food Network (OFN)
      Evonne Boland of OFN Ireland leads a conversation introducing Climate Action and Local Food, a new initiative with Sonairte and other partners developing regional food hubs using the OFN digital platform.
    • Soil and Biodiversity
      Sharing the findings of Talamh Beo’s Soil Biodiversity Literacy & Enhancement EIP Project

15.30 – Connecting with Europe with Forum Synergies

Initiatives from the book “Rural Europe Takes Action – No more business as usual” will share how they contribute to the local food economy.

Plessé municipality will show how elected people & citizens decided to take agricultural affairs into their own hands in order to maintain the village farming activity.

Balkan Seeds Network, a network of scientists and seed savers’ organisations tapping into the rich biodiversity and agricultural heritage of South Eastern Europe to stimulate resilient food systems and transnational cooperation.

Food Hubs: Food hubs and the digital platforms like Open Food Network have emerged as a powerful way to enable the aggregation, value addition, distribution, and marketing of local food, Cloughjordan Community Farm tells the story of their Food Hub and DESIRA Living lab.

Woman in Agriculture: Talamh Beo the Irish Land Workers Alliance are envisioning what gender equality looks like in agriculture and how inequality prevents women bringing their perspective and experience to the discussion, design and implementation of all things food, farming and rural living.

Register here to virtually participate in the webinar!

16.45 – Rural Ireland takes Action
Four North Tipperary farmers diversifying, driven by environmental care, share their stories.

    • Sean O Farrell (beef, poultry, pork, biodiversity, education, social farming)
    • Mimi Crawford (dairy, poultry, pork, regenerative agriculture and dairy direct selling)
    • Ailbhe Gerard (sheep, forestry, honey, education/climate action)
    • Maurice Deacy (cereals, heritage grains, on-farm brewery)

Final Reflections
ARC2020, the European platform for organisations working together for good food, good farming and better rural policies. Share insights and reflections from the first day.

Saturday Evening
19.00 – SpeakEATsy – Join us for the evening extravaganza that is the one and only SpeakEATsy, a unique evening of live music, poetry, amazing food, a compelling conversation and DJs to finish. Here you’ll gain a peak of that. Not enough? Have another one!

Four strands of activity over the day, all starting and ending together.

10.00 – Breakfast Check In
Gathering to

11.15 – 4 Options

      • STRAND 1 – Just Transition – Rural Ireland on the Move.
        Listening deeply to farmers and their concerns on agriculture policy.
      • STRAND 2 – Food Hubs in the Rural Economy and their role in the Just Transition
        Lessons from the Irish DESIRA Living Lab, introducing the benefits of the user owned OFN digital maket platform, and learning from Drumshambo, the Food Hub in Leitrim.
      • STRAND 3 – Seeds and natural dyes workshop and photo exhibition
        Natural Dyeing Workshop by Malú Colorín of FibreShed
      • STRAND 4 – Introduction to Syntropic Agroeforestry with Astrid Adler
        In this workshop Astrid Adler introduces Syntropic Agroforestry principles for different scales and situations.

13.00 – Lunch

14.00 – 4 Options

      • STRAND 1 – Another Rural Is Possible
        Policy check-in – Talamh Beo, Environmental Pillar and others present policy ideas for feedback
      • STRAND 2 – What is next for the Feeding Ourselves Network
        Building a stronger alliance for a regenerative food system in Ireland
      • STRAND 3 – Community Seed Banks with Kevin Dudley
        The Cloughjordan Community Seed Bank will be introduced by expert local horticulturist and grower, Kevin Dudley, followed by a discussion on the importance of creating a Seed Bank in your community.
      • STRAND 4 – A RED Gardens Experience with Bruce Darrell
        Join Bruce Darrel for this insightful session that will give you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the RED Gardens Project and the valuable work being done there.

15.30 – Feeding Ourselves Final Session
Weaving it all together with reflections from our keynote listeners.

16.30 – Farm Visits – Options on the way home

SpeakEATsy – Saturday 25th – 19.00 (SOLD OUT)

Join us for the evening extravaganza that is the one and only SpeakEATsy, a unique evening of live music, poetry, amazing food, a compelling conversation and DJs to finish. Here you’ll gain a peak of that. Not enough? Have another one!

“We want to give people an engaging, quite immersive experience, where incredible, very local food, provocative ideas and compelling conversations, artistic meanders and music to dance to, all come together to create a full evening out. The ideas we explore do surf on the edge of how we grapple with the huge social and environmental challenges we face. But we also think deeply about how to engage more people in this epic ecological journey. And we do so with an Emma Goldman sensibility – ours is a dancing revolution, but one with great food too.” Oliver Moore


Ticket options:

Full Weekend Ticket€112.50| €77.50 (Network Rate)

Saturday Day tickets – €50 General | €25 (Network Rate) | Feeding Ourselves Partners & Training Network members.

Sunday Ticket – €25 General

SpeakEATsy (Saturday Evening)   €37.50 General | €27.50 (Network Rate) | Feeding Ourselves Partners & Training Network members.