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Sustainability at Honestly Farm Kitchens 

Sustainability in the food production and hospitality industries is a fast growing topic. We have been working on this for over 10 years, so wanted to share some things you may not know about what Honestly Farm Kitchens and Drumanilra Farm are doing to protect our planet.  

Before we start, just to say we know we aren’t perfect and we all need to be working to improve our impact on the planet, but every little helps (as our Carrick neighbours say!) 

sustainability in farming

Our organic farm on the shores of Lough Key

At the Farm 

  • Our farm is certified organic, meaning no pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, chemical fertilisers or other nasties are introduced to our soil. We are certified by the Organic Trust, so we can be spot checked at any time!
  • We are certified by the Bord Bia Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme. 
  • At the farm we rear native rare breed cattle, Dexters, which are smaller than conventional beef cattle. This means they have a lower impact on the soil, so we can manage our grasslands and cattle effectively.
  • Our livestock is slow-reared, naturally fed, so we aren’t rushing to fatten them using industry concentrates based on a unsustainable systems of Genetically Modified feed.  Soybean and Wheat, grown on industrial sized mono crop systems, eliminate natural conditions and bio systems.  It’s bad for the planet and not good for the animals or for us!  The feed we use in winter must be non-GM, organically grown – so no nasties.
  • Our 300 acre farm is full of natural hedgerows, forest areas and natural water access – these all provide habitats for native wildlife, encouraging biodiversity in the area.
  • Our salads are grown naturally in polytunnels, using organic methods to protect them from the elements. We also use companion planting and natural substances like garlic to deter pests.
  • We use animal manure and green manure to fertilise our land.
  • No pesticides or herbicides means a high biodiversity of plant, insect & bird life and a healthy bee population.
Grass

We don’t mess with our grass by adding nasties – and it looks great for it!

At the Restaurant 

Behind the scenes 

  • We promote our Bike to Work scheme so staff can get standard or electric bike tax free using government schemes.  
  • Low food miles – this is a longer story for another blog, but with ingredients for all our dishes coming from the farm 15 minutes away, we are always working to reduce our food miles.  
  • Where we do need to bring in ingredients (for example out of season veg) we keep this to a minimum, make sure it’s organic, and we are actively looking for alternatives.
  • BioGas – our grills are powered by BioLPG – a gas made from food waste! This generates 90% lower emissions than other LPG gases.  
  • Our cleaning products are biodegradable and come in sachets added to reusable spray bottles. These cut down massively on plastic waste, lower emissions (by 95% compared to liquid bottles) and are kinder to skin and the planet.  
burgers

Low food miles on all three burgers – makes them taste even better!

For our Customers 

  • We have registered with the Conscious Cup Campaign – meaning we offer 20c discount for bringing a reusable coffee cup – cutting down on waste.
  • We have registered with Refill Ireland – reducing plastic waste by providing a filtered water station where customers can refill bottles.  
  • Recycling – we separate all our back of house waste into Food, General and Recycling waste.
  • We are working with the team to reduce food waste. So if there’s something in your meal that you don’t like, please let us know and we can leave it out – no tomato on the burger? No side salad with the halloumi fritters? No problem! It helps us all reduce wastage.  
  • Our packaging is compostable –so bring back your packaging next time if you’d like us to compost it for you. 
  • In our Farm Shop we sell keep cups and water bottles, as well as eco cleaning supplies (check out our Lilly’s range) and Irish Beeswax food wraps.

The Future 

With all of that said, we know we can do more. Down the line, we want to introduce: 

  • Electric car changing points in our car park 
  • Electric delivery vehicles 
  • Introduce more eco friendly products in our Farm Shop 
  • Sell reusable cups and water bottles at our till 
  • Cut down on food miles further 
  • Develop our own rocket composting facility 
  • Partner with more NGOs and public bodies aiming to promote sustainability in hospitality 
Sustainable farming

Liam out chatting to his fan club

So, what can you do to help? 

  • Bring your own keep-cup  
  • Refill your water bottle
  • Support small producers where you can 
  • Be mindful of miles 
  • If you’re ordering a takeaway or drive thru to have at home, tell us you don’t need cutlery (it’s still minimal washing up!) or napkins.
  • Order what you like, not what you don’t

For more, follow our newsletter and social media for more updates as we improve! Also we have a lot more information on sustainability on our website: https://honestlykitchen.ie/ 

Jess

Author Jess

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