As Ballymaloe Cookery School is primarily a teaching environment, these areas are often used in experimental ways to test out new planting and sowing techniques. As organic food production involves restrictions on the use of pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilisers, we are continually working on new techniques to control weeds and pests, and to enhance soil fertility. Such experimentation involves biodynamic planting and our "No Dig" area.
We also create our own organic compost here at the school. This is done by regularly turning organic matter which helps to aerate it. The natural bacteria in the soil thrive in the heat of the compost and break it down. When compost reaches the humus stage, it is once again a living thing full of bacteria, fungi and insects. This ensures the biodiversity that is absolutely essential to the health of the soil and, in turn, the plants and crops by giving them a greater resistance to disease.
Our core philosophy at Ballymaloe Cookery School is sustainable food production. Our beautiful farm is our greatest asset and we make every effort, not only to minimise our impact on the environment, but also to enhance it where we can.
Visitors to the Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens are encouraged to continue their explorations by following The Farm Walk which begins just beyond The Shell House as you enter the Wildflower Meadow. Susan Mannion, one of our gardeners, writes a very interesting quarterly Garden Diary which highlights in some detail what's happening both in the gardens and on the farm with each season's passing.
An integral part of the Ballymaloe Organic Farm is our Dairy. Every morning our 6 Jerseys cows are milked here and provide us with enough milk to produce our own cheese and yoghurt for the Cookery School and The Garden Shop.
Most certainly, a trip to Ballymaloe Cookery School is not complete without a visit to our wonderful organic farm!
Every year at Ballymaloe Cookery School Dairy we run a half-day course called It is one of our most popular , demonstrating that many people are keen to learn these somewhat forgotten skills. The course covers all the essentials of how to make butter, yoghurt and cheese right at home in your own kitchen.Learn More