“The solution to our living arrangement problem is not going to be more cars of a different kind, it’s going to be returning to more towns and traditional neighborhoods. The solution to our agriculture problem is not going to be bigger pig farms, its going to be smaller farms distributed more equitably around the parts of the country where you can still do agriculture. The solution to the medical problem is not going to be larger combine corporate hospital chains and so-called provider services, its probably going to be more small local clinics.”
The ecovillage, just going on 8 years old, is really a marvel. There are houses of cob, hempcrete, straw and timber. Rooftop rainwater is caught and channeled to blackcurrants, gooseberries, raspberries, Rosa Rugosa, plum, pear and cherry trees that line the streets and paths alongside 70 heirloom varieties of Irish apples grafted onto some 600 trees. The village rescued semi-mature oaks from a motorway in Dublin and gave them a new home here, along with 17,000 sweet chestnut, ash, alder, blackthorn, hawthorn, downy Birch, elder and rowan.
- WeCreate offers co-working, shared workspaces for local businesses, entrepreneurs and projects and courses for colleges.
- Among the WeCreate enterprises is the only community-based FabLab in Ireland — established by two ecovillage members. It allows the manufacture of almost anything by scripting or downloading plans and using computers to make the products.
- Django’s eco-hostel with 34 beds.
- RiotRye wood-fired bakery and bread school
- Sheelagh na Gig, a bookshop and coffee shop on Cloughjordan’s main street
- Walnut Books, an on-line bookshop
- Cultivate, an NGO for community resilience and permaculture
- FEASTA, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability
- Cloughjordan Arts, currently working on the Cloughjordan Community Amphitheatre, a multi-purpose facility with a 300-audience capacity
- Cloughjordan CoHousing
- VINE (Village Internet Network Engineering) bringing internet and telephone services to ecovillage residents
“BECCS [Biomass Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage] sounds great in principle and allows you to remove carbon while producing energy, but it has several challenges. There is a lot of debate on the scale of sustainable bioenergy, with many conflicts in the literature. Most environmental NGOs and many scientists are against large-scale bioenergy.”