Welcome to Talamh Beo

OURganic Gardens

EIP Soil Biodiversity Project Participant


Joanne Butler


Gortahork, Co Donegal

Water Catchment Area:

Gweebarra Sheephaven

Land Use:

Vegetables & Native Woodland

OURganic Gardens

Joanne’s organic garden is located in Gortahork, County Donegal and boasts spectacular views of Mount Errigal! 

Joanne and her husband, Milo, run the gardens as an outdoor environmental education centre. They offer hands on and online courses on growing your own food, sustainability and the environment. Their courses are a hit with all their learners – from individual gardening enthusiasts, to college horticulture students, community groups and even workplace team-building groups.

The garden’s organic produce is sold locally, and they also supply organic seedling boxes, enabling others to get a head start on their own home vegetable patch; which is how OURganic Gardens was born – Joanne’s desire to provide her family with fresh, organic food from their garden. 

Joanne farms using permaculture, the no-dig method and incorporates other holistic practices into her gardening. The gardens also allow for mother nature to have her space to work, recognising that they must work with nature in order to grow successfully and sustainably.

You can join Joanne as she shows us around her garden in this short video.

You can also connect with OURganic Gardens on their social platforms:

We strive to provide all walks of the community with a sense of ‘connection’ to where our food comes from and the importance to value all of mother nature's gifts. 

EIP Soil Diversity Project

Joanne’s farm at Gortahork consists of mostly peat soil, on a slope coming off bog land.

By participating in the EIP Soil Diversity Project, Joanne has trialled and documented a range of technical innovations  (such as bioNutrient meters) and physical innovations (e.g. soil biological activators, mineral amendments, biochar, green manure, compost, compost teas, inoculants etc) They have focused on remediating a fruit garden planted up with fruit trees and soft fruit suffering from compaction. They hope to use it as an example to others of how to fix poor, compacted soil in marginal land.

Joanne’s progress through Dr Elaine Ingham’s Launch Your Lab (LYL) educational course and the results of her farm trials have been recorded in her farm report. At the end of the course, Joanne will be trained and certified to look at soil microbes. This will enable her to carry out analysis for not only her own farm, but also act as a lighthouse farm for other individuals, farms and agri-businesses who can benefit from knowing what their soil needs to boost yields.

The OURganic Gardens farm walk took place on the 30th of August, 2022, and was a specialised event looking at OURganic Gardens’ education and training of permaculture on marginal land. You can watch the video highlights below.

You can check out Joanne & Milo’s course certificate and find out more about their trial plot, experiment and baseline soil test results in their project report.

Project Report

Farm Walk

OURganic Gardens' Farm Walk

Join Joanne and Milo on their farm, walk where you will see how they are putting their soil biodiversity training to use by making their own compost using it on a test plot of blueberries.

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Find out more about our project participants and their farms. Follow their journey, see their results and learn how they benefitted from their EIP Soil Biodiversity Project participation.