Bloom in the park – 2016
Pat Lalor featured on RTE’s Ear To The Ground on his organic farm in Ballard, Co. Westmeath
Kilbeggan Organic Porridge Oats has been awarded a Great Taste Award 2013. These awards attracted over 9,500 entries from Ireland and the UK and were blind-judged by a panel of food experts. We are delighted to add this prestigious international award to our collection of Irish awards received over the last two years.
Agri Business – Going Global
In 2011 Pat Lalor set about producing, packaging and marketing his own consumer ready organic porridge. Two years on , his product is sold not only across Ireland, but also in markets as far away as New York, Singapore, Thailand and the Middle East…
Kilbeggan Organic Porridge is now available in New York, Napa Valley, Kansas, North Carolina and Washington DC. Dean & Deluca are stockists of gourmet and specialty foods and have 14 retail shops and cafes throughout the U.S.
However, due to the unprecedented demand for our product, it will not be possible for us to supply all the outlets which were being supplied last year. Unfortunately the supply will always be limited because in order to maintain the integrity of our product, we will only use organic oats grown on our own farm, Ballard Organic Farm. Therefore, our production will always be limited by the size of our farm which is currently running at full capacity for oat production.
We really regret that many of our valued customers will be disappointed at not being able to buy Kilbeggan Organic Porridge Oats and we would like to acknowledge your support in the past which has been instrumental in no small way in helping our brand to become so well established in a very short time.
The Lalor Family
Ballard Farm, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath
Pat Lalor’s decision, in 1999, to move from conventional to organic farming was a pragmatic one – “to try and make some more money,” he admits. “But I suppose since then I’ve come to enjoy the organic way of farming. When I was a conventional farmer, I was a scientific farmer. Now, I’m a biological farmer. My job is to nurture the soil, look after it, get it into the best possible state of health, so it will grow crops that are disease free.” The crucial difference is that, with conventional farming, if you encounter problems there is always a quick fix, a prescription. With organic farming, the plan is to avoid having problems, because there are no quick fixes.
So what most appeals to him about the farming lifestyle? “On a wet day, nothing appeals to me,” he says, then admits, “I like being my own boss, I like to make up my mind as I go along at my own pace. I could not be governed by a clock.” The downside, of course, is the unpredictability. “It’s very difficult to plan anything ahead; when the weather changes, your plans have to change. If you’re a very rigid person who likes all their ducks in a row, you’d go mad. It’s not for everybody,” he says. These days, Pat produces his own porridge, that breakfast staple Kilbeggan Organic oats. “That’s a very good development,” he says. “There’s more to life than making money, there’s job satisfaction as well, and there’s more of that now than there has ever been.”
A short video, produced by Teagasc, highlighting the success of six organic farmers in Ireland. Pat explains the rotation of crops on an organic farm and the importance of the soil.