Course Description

This new 6 Week course at Ballymaloe Cookery School and  Organic Farm teaches students how to build a viable future through food systems and culture.
This is the first course that draws fully on all the extensive resources of The Ballymaloe Cookery School, our 100 acre organic farm and our network, bridging the knowledge gaps between cooking and farming in ways that can be sustained.
Participants learn to:
  • Re-think food systems and culture
  • Re-learn how to live, cook and eat sustainably
  • Re-define what is possible through resource efficiency and technology
 6 Week course on sustainable food systems and culture provides students with a broader understanding for personal or professional application.
Participants will
  1. help with growing food and raising animals
  2. learn to cook and eat sustainably, using foundation techniques to make the most of every scrap and prepare delicious food
  3. learn efficient use of resources within circular economy principals
  4. acquire knowledge that expands their education about food systems
  5. be better placed to help change how people think about food
  6. be encouraged to collaborate to create change and pass on their skills
  7. build connections within a progressive and international food community, spanning teachers, guest lecturers, partner organisations, producers, trading communities, Ballymaloe Cookery School alumni and fellow students

Course Outline

The carefully considered modules will help participants explore the dynamics between sustainable food systems, climate change, the environment, health and well-being.
Hands-on practical and theory sessions are held within the school and the farms outdoor classroom. Theory sessions vary between demonstrations, lectures, workshops and remote lecturers. 
Participants spend time in the glasshouses, herb, vegetable and fruit gardens, our new urban garden, orchard, bakery, smokehouse, micro dairy and cookery school.
Some of the topics the course covers:
  • Today’s food culture
  • Food waste and forgotten skills
  • Soil and compost - organic, biodynamic
  • Seed saving
  • Ocean and seas, marine conservation and fishing
  • Nutrition and health, food versus medicine
  • Rearing poultry and pigs
  • Butchery
  • History of food
  • Cookery
  • Food security
  • Sustainable farming
  • Markets - farmers and supermarkets
  • The importance of bees 
  • Food trends and urban farming
  • Tech and future farming
Participants are provided with a reading list that not only informs and educates but combined with practical skills, empowers graduates to realise a new way of living.

Who Should Enroll

In providing a foundation of knowledge that can be used in many approaches within a broad spectrum of interests, businesses and professions within the food industry, this course is relevant to a wide range of people.
o People interested in food, preparation, sourcing and living with a lighter footprint
o Those embarking on a career veer, seeking a break or a new career path and a healthier lifestyle
o Gap year students not yet decided on a career path but seeking knowledge and skills that will be an asset to them, wherever their path leads
o Food Marketeers and Food Buyers seeking hands-on experience and first person stories to help them better sell on the value of a sustainable approach and produce
o People championing sustainability and wellness within progressive corporations and organisations
o Food policymakers and people within the wider food industry, shaping decisions that will have a long-term impact on people and our planet
o Business owners and entrepreneurs refreshing or launching a new offer based on sustainable food systems
o Those studying or working in hospitality, food service and/or restaurants who want to expand their opportunities for innovating within food sustainability
o Food Advocates from local, grassroots communities to national and international efforts, driving institutional change and opening dialogue on food issues

Our Sustainable Community

We are proud to have been member of Soil Association for 15 years and have worked with GIY (Grow It Yourself) to promote backyard growing for 10 years. Darina is also a Trustee of Irish Organic Centre and Patron of Irish Seedsavers. A champion of the Farmers’ Market Movement in Ireland,
Darina is the leader of the Slow Food Movement in Ireland and President of East Cork Slow Food Convivium. Through the East Cork Educational Fund, Ballymaloe Cookery School runs a programme for local primary schools to help local children learn about food from garden to plate.
In 2013 we launched the Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine with Ballymaloe House,  which plays host to a stellar line up of chefs, writers and food producers, informing new food perspectives and solutions that impact communities and the wider world.