Heywood students cook up a storm in Cloughjordan

Heywood students Sinead Brennen-Burke on the left and Rachel Kelly on the right collecting vegetables in Cloughjordan.

Heywood students Sinead Brennen-Burke on the left and Rachel Kelly on the right collecting vegetables in Cloughjordan.

Transition Year students in Heywood cooked up a storm last month when they visited the Cloughjordan cookery school in Tipperary.

Students from class 4.2 along with teacher, Ms McDermott, made the trip to the small town in Tipperary in early December. TY coordinator, Mary Harrington arranged for each class to visit the house individually.

The Cloughjordan house is situated on private grounds in the Cloughjordan town. It is a cookery school which offers a unique course for TY students. It teaches basic cookery skills along with skills for growing vegetables organically. This course is part of the TY Home Economics module in Heywood.

The students were greeted with hot chocolate and chocolate biscuit cake upon arrival. Eager to get started, the group were shown how to prepare a homemade lunch by making creamy vegetable soup and rolls from scratch.

Armed with wellies and woolly hats, the students then headed out to the community farm and ecovillage.

Led by Bruce Darrell, Co-Founder of the Dublin Food Growing initiative and farm manager at Cloughjordan, the students toured the ecovillage.

The ecovillage is the only one of it’s kind in Ireland. It is totally reliant on renewable energy such as solar panels and wind turbines.

The TYs were fascinated by the low-energy houses which were all made from environment friendly materials. One house they were particularly interested in was a cylindrical house, made from wood and earth which was in the process of being built.

The land surrounding the ecovillage is dedicated to growing vegetables and rearing animals.

This food is grown for the members of the community farm in Cloughjordan. All food is grown naturally in either greenhouses or field segments.

Back at the house, head chefs Peter and Sarah Baker taught the students about the importance of knowing where food comes from. All food at the Cloughjordan house is sourced locally and all leftover food is fed to the pigs and hens or turned into compost.

Main course was next on the menu as the students set to work on preparing chicken parcels and fresh pasta in a tomato sauce. They ditched the wellies for aprons and delved into chopping vegetables, kneading pasta dough and stirring sauce.

The students enjoyed this meal with their teacher and finished it all off with sticky toffee pudding, which they had whipped up earlier.


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