Joanna and Klaus Laitenberger. - Milkwood Farm
The home of Leitrim’s foremost Organic gardener and his family. Klaus and Joanna bought the property, (land and cottage) in 2006, and really wanted to renovate the cottage however, it was very damp and they were advised that it would’ve been a long and expensive process. Under pressure of time, as they had to have somewhere to live soon, (they were living in Kinlough and had already had to move three times) they decided to build from scratch. They are sorry that the build isn’t more eco-friendly but, under pressure of time and money, they took the easiest route. Hope to retro fit wood burners and solar panels in the future.
Joanna has tastefully decorated the new- build home into a period home in a modern building. A collection of antiques furnish the rooms, along with co-ordinated modern effects.
The garden had been developed over the last four years with vegetable beds, chickens and a large pond and flower beds. Klaus built a huge greenhouse out of mainly recycled materials; Kai and Kirsten the ‘journeymen’ from Germany helped with the structure. They also built a wooden porch onto the front of their house for them.
TYPE OF HOUSE
Modern building – standard build.
POINT OF INTEREST
Klaus has just published his book: ‘Vegetables For The Irish Garden’. He currently works full time as a gardener in a number of gardens and has previously worked for the Organic Centre and Lissadell house.
They run a number of Organic Growing Courses throughout the year as 'Milkwood Farm'.
Kai and Kirsten built a handcrafted wooden porch onto the house: excellenat example of 'journeymen's' work.
- The garden: they are pretty self- sufficient in vegetables, eggs and some fruit. Excellent example of, working as a family for a sustainable future.
- Use of salvaged, recycled fittings.
- House will be retrofitted with solar panels and wood burner when they can afford it.
- The interior design by Joanna.
- The green house by Klaus.
- The rare breed chickens by their son.
- The wooded decking by German craftsmen.
- Standard build.
- Antiques and all in character with the period-house carefully chosen by Joanna.
- Stone floor tiles from Westport antiques store.
Stanley range and oil fired radiators.
A head gardener’s garden: – all organic – pond, flowers, vegetables, greenhouse - chickens
Anything you would have done differently? Another bedroom for the girls.
SATISFACTION RATING: Worked very hard to get it as it is now. They still all work one morning a week together on the garden. Very happy.