Welcome to The Aran Artisan–writings and photographs that document life on our family homefarm on Inis Mor, one of the Aran Islands in County Galway, located off the west coast of mainland Ireland.
We moved here in February 2007 from my home state of Maine in the U.S. as my husband Johnny always wanted to return to his homeland and I always dreamed of living on an island. It felt like an ideal opportunity and has turned out to be a decision that has brought us much joy.
Our idealism is expressed in the tagline “Making a living by creating every aspect and ingredient of daily life.” These are the words of a friend who used them to describe our family. Yes, it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but we like it.
We combine traditional skills with modern techniques and tools while working our farm & gardens, preparing food for storage & the table, foraging the island & surrounding ocean, as well as crafting & other projects.
We’ve chosen this way of living because we love gardening, eating our own fresh food, and what we don’t grow ourselves, we want to be sourced as close to home as possible. We also get great satisfaction from diy, crafting, and creating with our hands. But mostly, we live this way because we really enjoy working together. It feels a lot less like work when you love it so much!
Our five children know that real food doesn’t come from a box and are accustomed to sitting around a table and eating together as a family. We also teach them that manners matter, the importance of being attentive beyond their own selves, and that keeping the peace is more important than being right.
I hope you enjoy your visit, Melissa Xx
p.s. More about how I met Johnny and came to move to Ireland are in my post ‘I Live in Aran’.
*credit for above photos goes to http://www.melissamannion.com/
I took this photo on self timer: