In the far west of Ireland, where the land stretches long green fingers into the wild Atlantic, a small Camphill community has just celebrated its eighth birthday.
Camphill Dingle comprises just 20 people, living and working together in a quiet rural location just a few miles from Dingle town. But what a lot they achieve.
‘Some people say it’s as though time has stood still here, but that’s nonsense’, says Betsie, who has been with the community from the beginning. ‘We are so busy!’
Committed local parents fundraised for a decade to buy the land the community now farms, producing most of its own food. Neighbours have taken the group to heart, too, helping to stock the farm and construct a farm building.
Dominic works on the farm
‘We have sheep, cows, donkeys, chickens and ducks’, says Dominic. ‘We grow potatoes, lettuce, cabbage and things like that. We make cream cheese and yogurt.’
And there is much good work making crafts – from rugs and candles, to jams and baby booties – which the group sells every Friday on their market stall in Dingle town.
A lively area
‘This area might be remote, but culturally it’s very, very active’, Betsie says. ‘Music, art and drama are very much alive, making it a really good place for us to
live in. We enjoy and take part in the lots of performances and festivals. Here we can really be part of the local community.’