Discover a world where nature and humanity are one, amid wonderful landscape and the legacy of the farming Dominican Sisters of Wicklow Town.
At An Tairseach, we take pride in being a historic place of healing, reflection, and learning. We are also proud to be a leader in the Irish organic farming movement, with decades of experience in conservation and biodiversity enhancement.
The broad sloping fields and native hedgerows of our farm, visible for miles around and even from the sea, are an iconic presence above Wicklow Town, a signal of hope, and a reminder of our duty to nurture and understand the Earth while facing the challenge of climate change together.
We hope our website inspires you to get in touch with us. As we like to say, connection is in our nature.
There are lots of possibilities. You can visit our renowned Organic Farm Shop, avail of the beauty and peace of our historic convent setting, attend a course or lecture, stay with us, eat our extraordinary organic produce, make a life changing environmentally conscious decision, explore the story and the wisdom of the farming Dominican Sisters, and fall in love with Wicklow while you’re at it.
A Little Bit About Our Name – An Tairseach
In the Irish language the words ‘An Tairseach’ mean ‘The Threshold.’
With this name, more than twenty-five years ago, the wise and energetic Dominican sisters who founded our seventy-acre organic farm, farm shop and ecology centre, in its beautiful hillside setting overlooking the Irish Sea, expressed their deep commitment to seeking solutions to our shared environmental problems.
Channelling the traditions of justice and truth that have defined the lives of women in the Dominican Order across the centuries, and pursuing an open-minded exploration of agriculture, ecology, spirituality and artistic expression, the An Tairseach Dominicans of Wicklow came to understand that if the environmental healing so desperately needed in our time was to be a realistic goal, then a radical change in understanding was required.
The An Tairseach approach to such things as sustainable farming, healthy and locally produced food, ethical shopping, community employment, biodiversity, natural heritage, and education, together with the peace and serenity of a traditional retreat experience, links back always to the ancient idea of the threshold.
The threshold reminds us of the fact that, in response to looming environmental breakdown, humanity has the potential to create an ecological age, and that we are, as the American religious scholar Thomas Berry famously wrote, ‘between two stories’.
The threshold also reminds us that in addition to a new political and collective will to achieve positive change, we need a deeper understanding of who we are as human beings. Ultimately, it reminds us also of the fact that we are connected to the web of life which for too long has been negatively impacted by our ways of living.
To achieve this new understanding, the founders of An Tairseach came to believe, we must move away from many of our old habits and ideas, and go more deeply into the natural world. As we do so, ideally, we cross a threshold within ourselves, and begin to work towards new and transformative purpose in the everyday environmental challenges that we face.
The Greek root of the word ecology has a threshold in it too. Fundamentally, ecology means knowledge of our earthly home, or knowledge of the house of nature.
An educational and cultural hub, a haven for wildlife, a source of the healthiest and tastiest fresh food available, and an iconic canvas of green organic fields above Wicklow Town, An Tairseach is an invitation to everyone to respond as positively as they can to the environmental crisis, to try to live out a deeper grasp of their position in the web of life, a deeper connection to our planetary home and all the other lifeforms that share it.