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Ballymacrown Homestead, Self catering holiday rental cottages, Baltimore, West Cork, Ireland   
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Ballymacrown Homestead, Self-catering cottages, Baltimore, West Cork, Ireland                                                                              T: 00353 28 20527

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Homesteading

  

Our homesteading philosophy is a personal commitment to live a simpler life, limit the impact of our business on the environment and respect nature. “If you look after the land, the land will look after you”. This list includes the simple changes we have made, that we believe make a difference. They are affordable, not high tech and allow us to live in harmony with nature.

The steps we have taken so far are:

1) The 3 R's - Recycle, Reuse and Reduce

Outside our cottages we segregate the waste into non-recycling, recycling, glass and compost bins for vegetable waste.

To make this as easy as possible for our guests we provide:                                                                    

    · 2 pedal bins for non-recycling and recycling waste

    · bio-caddy for vegetable peelings, egg shells, tea bags etc    ·

    · bio-degradable bin liners

    · compostable liners for the bio caddy.

To reduce use of plastic bags we provide:

    · reusable shopping bag

    · greaseproof paper.

  

2) Ethical business practise through use of green suppliers, fair-trade and free-range

    · We buy eco cleaning products in bulk and refill containers to cut down on waste.

    · Use eco washing powder and include 2 free washing tablets in cottages, with the option to purchase extra.

    · Instead of hand wash we provide handmade Irish soap.

    · Support local economy by providing a local shopping service promoting West Cork artisan products, free-range       and free-trade.

  

3) Energy and Water efficiency

We have replaced all light bulbs with eco bulbs in the property and provide an eco kettle.

  

4) Minimise use of car

    · Provide details of bicycle and walking routes from Ballymacrown Homestead.

    · Offer a pick up service from local transport for visitors wanting a car free vacation.  

  

5) Improving habitats and biodiversity – respect for nature

    · We have allowed an area of our lawn, previously ancient pasture, to grow naturally into a wildflower meadow.

    · Provided bird feeders

    · Excavated a dew pond, hidden by undergrowth, for our ducks.

    · Planted an orchard in an area of the garden that was previously overrun by nettles and brambles.  The nettles       were cleared by cutting them regularly over a two year period, without the use of herbicides. Nettles are still       allowed in some corners as they are a great habitat for butterflies.

                                                                                

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

    · Garden organically and pull weeds by hand from the drive rather than use herbicides.

    · Use natural soil improver's and plant feeds e.g. garden compost, hay from the ducks bedding and sea weed.

    · Harvest seeds

Ongoing Projects –

    · Development of a hedgerow to divide the orchard from the formal garden.

    · Establish marginal plants around the pond and a reed bed as cover for birds, amphibians and insects.

    · Plant a native copse to provide bio-fuel for the future.

    · Nut tree grove

  

6) Homesteading

    · Buying in bulk

    · Preserving and drying                                                 

    · Recycling finding new uses for things.     

    · Cooking and baking from scratch

    · Wood cooking                               

    · Grow vegetables and fruit

    · Herb beds

    · Keeping ducks and chickens for eggs and amusement!

    · Utilise tree prunings as kindling and logs.