Ballymaloe House was founded on sustainable food principles, long before farm-to-fork or food miles were considered fashionable. When Myrtle Allen started her restaurant, the ingredients used to cook were from her husband farm.
We are still renowned for our farm-to-fork culinary practices, and continue to serve simple, wholesome food using a combination of seasonal produce grown in our walled garden, reared on the Ballymaloe farm, or from a variety of local producers and suppliers, reducing the carbon footprint.
The land around Ballymaloe House is sustainably managed, with emphasis on biodiversity and nature preservation. Wildflower meadows provide an important habitat for wildlife, the beehives on the estate grounds produce honey we use in the restaurant and kitchen. Learn more about our sustainable farm-to-fork principles.
We keep free-range hens for a guaranteed supply of fresh eggs. All the eggs used in the kitchen are free range from the hens reared on the farm and fed on home-grown grain.
Recently, we have taken to rearing our own free-range pigs. We rear pigs on the beans and grain frown on the farm. Pigs are then processed locally, reducing food miles, and supporting local butchers.
Pork and poultry are locally produced, non-intense, free-range and organic.
All our lamb and beef are grass-fed, reared on the neighbouring farms.
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 produce seakale, native to Ireland, growing it under a cloche.
In 2014, we planted a 2-acre apple orchard now providing us with apple juice and Ballymaloe Cider. The beehives are managed by Niall Coffey of East Cork Bees and the honey produced is used in the restaurant and kitchen.
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 throughout the year.
Local farmers supply us with ducks, geese, guinea fowl, chickens, and turkeys.
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.
Vegetables and herbs are supplied from our Walled garden, tended to by the Head Gardener Mags Cullinane and her team, as well as from the Organic Farm and Gardens at Ballymaloe Cookery School.