Macalla (pronounced muh-cawe-la) is the Irish placename for the green hill above our house and residential centre. Macalla translates as ‘the hill of the echo’.
Ciara’s connection to the island and farm dates back to 1977 when she first met the late Michael Joe O’Malley. After that brief summer visit she returned in the early 1980s and stayed with Michael, working on the farm for the next eight years, privileged to learn the skills of the land from an islander of great integrity and wisdom.
Since 2001, Macalla Farm has developed in line with our combined interests and skills and we offer unique residential courses and retreats in yoga, mindfulness, food and horses.
Most of the farm is upland mountain and bog which is grazed sustainably by our horses and sheep. Its western edge is defined by dramatic cliffs populated by large colonies of seabirds. In addition to the horses and sheep, the farm is home to Stella and Shep, our loyal sheep dogs, Tigger and Cassis our cat and kitten as well as noisy ducks and two busy beehives.
We grow 99% of the fresh produce needed to see a family and yoga retreat centre through the year on numerous small parcels of cultivatable land near the house and centre. See our Garden page to see what and how we grow.
We are blessed to have an old woodland on our farm. It is called Lassau, meaning ‘fertile’ in Irish, and is an area of rich biodiversity supported by birch and holly, hazel, ash and oak. In 1995 Ciara, with help from various friends, began planting more trees. Christophe continued the practice with a passion. To date, more than 3,000 deciduous native trees have sent their roots into the soil around Macalla Farm, benefiting the birds and other wildlife and those of us living in their midst.