A visit to the Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens can be extended to include a highly recommended visit to our beautiful organic farm. The Farm Walk begins just beyond The Shell House at the end of The Herbaceous Border. Walk through the silvery Elaeagnus hedge, following the signs which lead you on a meandering path through the Wildflower Meadow towards the entrance to the farm. To your right as you walk through the meadow, you will see our Living Dragon, Nessi - a willow tree that has been trained over arches to resemble the shape of a dragon lying in the meadow, designed by Norman Platts.
Up ahead, you can't miss the imposing and colourful Butterfly Doorway. Stepping through it, you will enter an area approximately one quarter of an acre in size which is the Outdoor Vegetable Patch. Stay awhile here and familiarise yourself with the many species of plants and vegetables that grow happily outdoors in the Irish soil and climate. We have placed information signs and labels along the vegetable rows to help you identify them. Can you pick out any rows of green manure?
The highlight of The Farm Walk for many people is The Glasshouses. It would be easy to pass some time here among the greenhouse bays, enjoying the scents of the plants, flowers and herbs.
As you exit The Glasshouses once again and turn to your right, the trail brings you to some of our animal enclosures where you can up close and personal with our friendly pigs or meet our cows who like to suck your fingers! Continuing on, follow the signs to bring you to our Dairy and The Chicken Coop. Here you can witness first hand where the hens are fed the daily food scraps. We also recently installed a large glass window at the side of the coop so that visitors can view our happy hens as they roost inside.
A nice way to conclude our Farm Walk is to stop by our impressive Photovoltaic Metre which you will find to your right as you exit The Memory Arboretum just in front of The Dairy. This brings you to the back door of The Conservatory where you can re-enter the school and The Garden Shop before you leave. We recommend trying some of the homemade products from our dairy or the organic produce from the farm as the perfect way to end your visit!