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11 Aug 2022

Growing Limerick social farm to host open day

Growing Limerick social farm to host open day

ALL ARE invited to visit a farm with a difference - Doon Social Farm - at an open day on Friday, May 13  between 11am and 2pm.

It is a social enterprise set up by Ballyhoura Rural Services and located on a beautiful 33-acre holding encompassing the former Sisters of Mercy convent and school in Doon. 

The Social Farm tackles rural isolation in society. Its aim is to provide an essential and varied range of services to local communities across Limerick, Clare, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford. The farm offers social farming experiences for both individuals and groups.

In terms of on site education it has a full time Local Training Initiative in Horticultural and plans are in place for short term day and evening courses. In addition, the farm supplies a range of organic produce and eggs to health shops, restaurants and hotels. There are future plans to transform the convent building into 23 apartments for older people and to develop St Joseph’s secondary school into a mother and child reunification programme.

Social Farming is an emerging form of education that assists in integrating people through the forming of relationships, working with the soil, creating inclusion, a sense of responsibility and developing community. The Doon Social Farm team deliver bespoke programmes, tailored to match the needs of each group. The aims of the programmes are to instil self-confidence, provide access to outdoor green spaces and educate about biodiversity, farm to fork and growing organic sustainable food.  

All are welcome to attend an open day between 11am and 2pm on Friday, May 13. Farm manager Tom Kent says it is with a view "to assist services and the general public in becoming aware of what is involved with social enterprises and the benefits they bring to society".

The open day will include tours of the farm and social farm experiences.  There will be fun presentations showing how to grow your own salad boxes, how to plant food, how to build garden beds and garden furniture. There will be talks on biodiversity, a cookery demonstration and an introduction to the on-site training programme in horticulture. There will be presentations about working with pigs, chickens, donkeys and a class on beekeeping.

In addition, Men’s Shed will be displaying and selling their range of products. Ballyhoura Development will also be advising on the day on how to set up and scale a social enterprise. The farm shop will be selling a range of local produce. 

The open day is ideal for local community groups, charities, youth groups, primary and secondary schools, disability services and care groups to get an insight on social enterprise and the types of programmes that we can offer on the farm. Tea and coffee will be provided, there is on-site parking, a warm welcome and admission is free. The farm is located at Main Street, Doon V94 12TO.

For more information please visit Doon Social Farm's Facebook page 

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