5 years ago we moved to a life “Beyond the dream” to experience the reality of living off-grid on a mountain in Co. Leitrim, Ireland and that’s what this blog is all about …

Now … in the spirit of stepping up and standing out, busting through the fear of visibility to feel the fear and do it anyway … please meet the face behind the Beyond the Dream! blog

If you’d like to make videos but are a bit camera shy, like me … then why not give this 7 day visibility challenge a go. It’s free and great fun 🙂
And if you haven’t already, please like our Facebook page for daily updates on life here at the land …

Twas a strange auld day today on Sliabh an Iarainn (Iron Mountain as Gaeilge)… hailstones …. yes, in July!… followed by blues skies followed by rain. Looking out through the rain I noticed the Jostaberry outside my bedroom window was dripping with fruit (good to have things you don’t want to forget  just outside your window). When the next dry spell came I saw my opportunity and went for it.  Mission: Josta Jam.



Had a bag of sugar in the press. Liam was good enough to grab some lemons on his way home from town. Strawberries just for show…far too yummy to make jam out of 🙂


So, 10 cups of berries. 8 cups of sugar, a  half cup of lemon and 4 cups of good Arigna spring water later … we now have yummy Josta Jam to savour and share. This recipe uses slightly less sugar than usual .. I try to cut down on sugar as my daughter has type 1 diabetes.


Look forward to trying a spoonful in a pot of natural yoghurt. Far nicer than the shop bought yoghurts full of artificial sweeteners, flavours and colours!


A nice post on Jerusalem Artichokes .. how to grow and cook. They do come with a health warning though 🙂

The Arid Land Homesteaders League

Jerusalem Artichoke, Sunchoke
Helianthus tuberosus

I love this plant. I must because it does require some room in the garden.

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As this blog is all about sustainable living I thought it appropriate to write a few words about the wonderful weekend we had at http://www.moynaltyyogafest.com/

Growing our own food and producing our own power sustains the body: Yoga is sustenance for the Mind, Body & Soul.


This weekend was fantastic! The amazing, sunny Summer Solstice certainly helped the wonderfulness but sun or no sun…I’d definitely recommend this yoga fest to anyone interested in yoga, healthy food, chilled-outness and meeting nice people. I tried a few different classes from the huge selection of styles at the fest… from Hatha through Iyengar, Kundalini, Ashtanga, Shivam, Vinyass to the upbeat https://www.facebook.com/HouseOfYogaWaterford and the inspirational https://www.facebook.com/Yogabeats I’d say there was definitely something there for everyone … Some of the classes were even  held outside.

And for those of us with kids… you could bring them with you (for free!). Bonus 🙂 Older kids were welcome to join in and there was free childcare for the little ones. the older ones had an absolute ball with the new friends they made… playground on site… impromptu two-day football tournament… kids yoga and storytelling in the Seomra Spraoi tent.

We had a lovely summer solstice ceremony celebrating and connecting with the divine feminine and the divine male.

This was the second year of the festival and I asked the organiser if it’ll be happening again next year. No promises but …here’s hoping … Maybe see you there in 2015

P.s. it’s great value too … 45e/person for a weekend ticket… kids free…free childcare…need I say more 🙂

I’ve just finished a Social Media Marketing course with a view to expanding my business OneWorld Language Services. I’ve always thought of my “lifestyle” and this blog as something very separate from my career and it never occurred to me, until now, to mention the fact that I’m a translator. I am. My name is Lorna and I’m a translator. I love translating … especially all things sustainable 🙂

Working as a translator (Spanish to English) is actually a huge part of my life, as is being a mother and living off-grid. So maybe, just maybe. it deserves a mention on this blog. Sustainable living and all things “eco” is what I’m passionate about and, by extension, it’s what I love to translate about. The website is in the pipeline but for the meantime. my online translation home is here:



There, my secret’s out!

Funky garden table

June 6, 2014

Was driving through town the other day when I came across one of these being hoisted up onto a truck.

Electrical spool

I couldn’t resist the temptation to park up, hop out and tell the electrical spool man that I had always wanted one of these for a garden table. Sweet guy says.. “well do you want one now”. Yes please. 5 mins later I was the proud owner of a new garden-table-to-be. A lick of paint and voila! There’s such satisfaction in creating useful things from waste. As they say, One man’s trash is another man’s treasure 🙂

Spool table

By the way, our bees swarmed yesterday… find out what happened in our next blog post!

Fracking – NO THANKS

September 7, 2011

Just heading out to a public meeting on “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing.. a shale gas extraction process that poses an imminent threat to the lives of the  people in the beautiful county of Leitrim and to the whole of Ireland. A national threat… to our clean water supplies, to our health and to the health and future of our children. Now is definitely the time for community action! See No Fracking Ireland on facebook for more info… http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=152587264824852#!/groups/146055765467930/ WE CAN LIVE WITHOUT GAS, BUT NOT WITHOUT WATER!

Time….I have some!

September 5, 2011

Two years down the road since I set up this blog and I may finally have time to write. The twins have just started school. I’ve just finished school….I’ve checked out some blogging tutorials, I’m feeling inspired… so here we go….



Elderberry Syrup

September 22, 2009

Elderberry Syrup

  • Ripe elderberries
  • Sugar

Pick the fruit on a dry day, wash well and drain thoroughly. Strip the fruit from the stems and put into a pan, adding just enough water to cover. Simmer for 30 minutes until the berries are very soft. Strain through a jelly bag or muslin and measure the juice. Allow 450g (1lb) sugar and 10 cloves to each 6dl (1 pint) of juice. Heat the juice gently, stirring in the sugar until dissolved. Boil for 10 minutes and then leave until cold. The syrup may be frozen in small quantities or packed into small, screw-topped, soft drink bottles which have been sterilized.

Elderberry syrups of this kind have been used since Tudor times as a stand-by against winter colds. The syrup is a cold aperient, relieves all chest troubles, will stop a cold and bring on a sweat. It is normally diluted, allowing 2 tablespoons of syrup to a tumbler of hot water and a squeeze of lemon juice. A little whisky may be added if liked. A few drops added to a glass of wine makes an excellent aperitif.


Rosehip Syrup

September 22, 2009

Rosehip Syrup

Ingredients: 250g rosehips, 600ml boiling water, 50g honey or sugar
Equipment: Mezaluna, chopping board, pan, sieve, funnel, wooden spoon, sterilised bottle

Sieve the rosehips well to remove the tiny hairs on the seeds, which can cause irritation to sensitive stomachs.

Chop the rosehips with the mezaluna. Put them in a pan with 400ml of boiling water. Bring the mixture back to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the rosehips through the sieve, making sure you save the rosehip water (which is called a decoction). Return the rosehip pulp to the pan with 200 ml of boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes, to make another decoction. Add the decoctions together with the honey or sugar and stir until dissolved. Boil for 15 minutes. Pour through the funnel into the sterilised bottle.


Whispering Earth

Nature patiently waits and we have only to turn back to her to find relief from our suffering - Dr Bach


trying to live as lightly as possible on our beautiful planet


Lines from a linguist

The Arid Land Homesteaders League

Pioneering The Modern Urban World

the Nest

Art + Writing + Food

Landed in Leitrim: setting roots, growing trees, living off the land

Beyond the Dream!

Landed in Leitrim: setting roots, growing trees, living off the land