We’re thrilled that Fáilte Ireland have invited Carina Conyngham to take part in their tourism industry climate change conference ‘Driving Action on Climate Change in Tourism Businesses’ in Croke Park next week. Rock Farm was chosen because we are considered a best practice case study around sustainability. This is a really wonderful opportunity to share how Rock Farm is leading the way in this area which is so close to Carina’s heart. We have been recognised for our activities before – most recently we were proud to receive the 2022 Environmental Award from the Irish Food Writers’ Guild.
At the conference Carina will cover quite a few different topics as we are addressing climate change in many different ways. She’ll explain what we do here at Rock Farm as an ecotourism destination, the challenges involved and give advice to other people who are setting out on this climate action journey.
Rock Farm is an intertwined organic farm and ecotourism business and intentionally managed as a show case for both. How much do you know about our sustainability and climate action activities? Did you know that Limehouse and Swallow’s Nest are both strawbale houses built from straw which came from our own crops of barley? Lime House is the largest residential strawbale house in the country and if you’ve ever stayed there you will know how warm, comfortable and practical it is. Strawbale buildings are both beautiful and healthy and you’d never know it was an unconventional build either from the inside or the outside. It sleeps up to 22 people in six bedrooms. Swallow’s Nest is the other end of the scale – a tiny, snug hideaway for two. We’ve hosted many natural building courses and conferences to encourage other people to build with strawbales too. We have a natural swimming pool which uses no chlorine or harmful chemicals. Instead, it relies on a natural filtering process. Our visitors love using it.
Our 90 farm follows permaculture principles and is completely organic, certified by The Organic Trust. We grow barley (used to produce whiskey in Slane Distillery) and have a thriving market garden both outside and in our polytunnels to extend the season. We have a herd of Dexter cattle, Tamworth X pigs, Bronze turkeys and hens for egg production We sell produce at our farmers market (held on Thursdays) and at the moment we’re busy taking orders for Christmas turkeys, hams and other roasts for the big day. We even have an Organic Breakfast Pack for Christmas morning. Orders can be picked up at the Christmas Farmers Markets on Wednesday 21st, Thursday 22nd or Friday 23rd December from 11am to 4pm. It’s a great family day out even if you’re not picking up the festive dinner.
We have planted 14,000 native trees as part of an agroforestry project which further improves biodiversity. Agroforestry is the integration of trees with either crops or livestock on the same land. We are doing this in conjunction with Slane Distillery who are also very committed to climate action and designed the distillery with this in mind. Carina will also explain the steps they have taken at the conference.