When Myrtle and Ivan Allen opened their family home to the public in 1964, the world was a much more sustainable place. In the early 80’s Ivan wanted to move away from using fossil fuels as an energy source. Few years later, in 1984 his son Rory purchased Ballymaloe's first Biomass Straw Boiler, and the fossil fuels were not used ever since.
We continue to research and embrace green initiatives throughout every aspect of Ballymaloe House, Shop & Café, gardens, and the farm operations. Biomass boiler provides heating and hot water, and in 2021, we have installed solar panels on the roofs of existing outbuildings buildings, which now produce 50% of our electricity.
We are renowned for the farm-to-fork cooking practices, we use produce grown in the gardens and reared on the farm or source them locally, significantly reducing the carbon footprint. The land around Ballymaloe House is sustainably managed, with emphasis on biodiversity and nature preservation.
Our team embraces sustainability, and this culture is lived by in every department on daily basis. Bicycles and electric buggies are used to travel around the estate and many of our long-term team members grew up or live locally.
With all the efforts we try to set an example for sustainable tourism practices, and to operate a sustainable business, promoting a greener future for the hospitality industry.
Biomass Boiler is our main source of energy. The boiler is fuelled by straw bales and provide hot water and heating for Ballymaloe House, the outbuildings and the farm, the swimming pool in the summer and helps to dry 2,000 tons of grain annually.
We estimate over 600,000 litres of oil over would have been burnt over the past 40years.
In 2020, we upgraded to LIN-KA Energy Boiler providing even more efficient energy and additional hot water and heating. It is fuelled by straw bales, which is not suitable for animals, sourced from the Ballymaloe farm and neighbouring farms. Each rapeseed straw bale has an equivalent of 200 litres of oil.
We keep the emissions to the minimum, by souring fuel grown that year, no more than 3km from Ballymaloe House and support local community.
STATISTICS ABOUT our
In 2021,we installed 147Kw of PV solar panels on the roofs of existing farm buildings, producing over 600KWH of power per day, representing a third of overall daily energy consumption and adding to our renewable energy sources. We were 50% independent of ESB nation grid in 2022.
An online interface located at reception, and available for the guests to view, is showing the effectiveness of the panels in reducing energy consumption. Since the installation, we have saved 1.4 tonnes of carbon per week.
Electric car charging stations are also powered by solar energy. We have Tesla and general charging points.
LED lighting is used throughout the property, saving CO2 energy and many of common areas use sensor based lights.
In 2022, the straw from barley cropwas chopped at harvest and left on the field to generate carbon organic matterfor the soil. Pmanure is used on the farm as a fertiliser
Eggs used in the kitchen are the café are freerange from the hensreared on the farm and fed on home-grown grain and food waste and scraps fromthe kitchen.
Wastewater is treated by our own treatment plant, which then flows through constructed reed bed for the final treatment, on the way providing hydration for the gardens. Wetlands are located near the pond, covering a small area to support plant and animal communities living in and on the soil, supporting both aquatic and terrestrial species.
In 2004, Ballymaloe farm planted 10 acres of ash trees (5300 trees) on the estate, equating today to 1,000 tonnes of carbon credits. In 2014, we planted a 2-acre apple orchard now providing us with both apple juice and Ballymaloe Cider.
The walled garden is managed organically, providing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers for the house. The fruits we grow include strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, gooseberries, fregolas, red and white currants, plums, apples, pears, cherries, peaches, figs, kiwis, grapes, and rhubarb.
We sees save and grow produce from seed each year. Flowers used in all the bedrooms, dining rooms and public spaces of Ballymaloe House are from the walled garden through the year.
All waste along with the cuttings from the garden are composted and returned to the soil. For floral design we use glass and ceramic vases, and never foam oasis. Our floral designer works with sustainable practices in floristry.
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The land around Ballymaloe House is sustainably managed, with emphasis on biodiversity and nature preservation.
We have reduced the management of forestry to sustain its natural habitat. Clear nature walks are carefully maintained for the guests to enjoy and the much of the land around Ballymaloe House has been designed for re-wilding.
The wildflower meadows provide an important habitat for wildlife and every year we plant an extensive amount of native Irish trees and shrubs. The farm sows 12 acres with a seed mixture of brassicas and wildflowers under an EU wild bird habitat scheme. This area is left to go to seed over the summer, creating a food source and cover for small birds over the winter months.
We plant flower species strategically to encourage the welfare of butterflies; a rare butterfly, the Comma, was recently living on the grounds. Beehives on the estate grounds, are managed by Niall Coffey of East Cork Bees and the honey produced is used in the restaurant and kitchen.
The land is farmed with wildlife welfare in mind. We embrace innovating farming and conservations schemes including bat boxes, bird breeding boxes, owl nesting boxes and Birdwatch Ireland bird survey to name a few.
The menus are written with seasonality in mind, using seasonal fruit and vegetables grown in our walled garden. We make small batches of food to avoid waste.
Additional fruit and vegetables are sourced from gardens and glasshouses of a nearby Ballymaloe Cookery School, Kilbrack Organic Farm new potatoes from Patrick Walshe and Willie Scannell in Shanagarry, and many other local producers.
Fish comes from small boats Ballycotton Bay, shellfish from Kenmare Bay; Sally Barnes, Frank Hederman and George Devereux smoke fish for us. Meat is sourced locally on the carcass, and we use every part of the animal, including main components, secondary parts for mincing and bones for stocks; we leave no waste.
Everything that can be recycled is placed in the compost bins, including fish waste, coffee grinds and loose tea leaves. We use reusable storage containers, grease proof paper and steel containers for storing food instead of using cling film and foil.
Sustainable culture and eco-practices are lived by in every department. We are committed to further reducing waste to landfill and waste reduction is at the front of our efforts.
All food waste is separated at source and fed to the animals. We provide recycling facilities for cardboard packaging, glass, cans, used lightbulbs, printer cartridges and batteries in every department.
We encourage our guests to reuse towels, saving a significant amount of water and energy.
We use the Eco Lily cleaning product range throughout the property. Robyn’s Handmade Natural Soaps, we used in the bedrooms are made on the farm using the lavender grown on the estate.
We are fortunate to have an own well, providing all water needs, including a high-quality drinking water for Ballymaloe House.
We source suppliers with environmental similar ethos and sustainable practices. We sponsor Birdwatch Ireland’s annual Irish Garden Bird Survey.
Our Gift Vouchers can be downloaded online and sent virtually.