A Cork man, known as ‘the mindful farmer’, is tapping into the market for those keen to escape the stresses and strains of a 21st century lifestyle by hosting high-end ‘retrEAT’ getaways on his farm.
Former garda turned farmer Patrick Mulcahy unknowingly practised meditation and mindfulness techniques as a child, growing up on a farm in west Limerick.
He continued to use and develop them throughout his varied career to present day to manage the stresses of running multiple businesses, including Ballinwillin House farm, said to be the only combined organic farmed venison, wild boar and goat farm in Ireland and the UK.
In 2017 Patrick created a ‘Thinking Path’ on the grounds of Ballinwillin House farm. Set on 80ac of pastureland in the Golden Vale, the farm will this year again be the venue for upscale residential ‘retrEAT breaks’, combining fine dining with meditation and mindfulness.
Over two days guests will experience the tranquility of Ballinwillin House farm, with its boutique accommodation; dining by award-winning chef Dermot Gannon from ‘The Old Convent’; wines from Ballinwillin’s sister vineyard in Hungary; workshops; and the company of the ‘mindful farmer’ and his wife Miriam who assists in the running of the business.
Patrick will share how he incorporates mindfulness and meditation into his daily routine and explain the techniques he employs to cope with the everyday strains of a busy life.
The objective of the Ballinwillin RetrEAT is to nourish the body and mind and provide guests with a restorative experience as well as practical techniques that can be taken away and used daily.
“The feedback from 2018 was overwhelmingly positive, with one guest reporting we had ‘worked magic’ on their type ‘A’ personality and another highlighting how ‘the mind goes quiet even despite itself’.
“The start of a new year is an ideal time to host the RetrEAT again when many of us are lining up ambitious goals and challenges and we look forward to welcoming familiar and new faces at the end of the month.”
Pat will be joined by Reiki master and Stott Pilates teacher, Mary Therese O Connell.
Originally from a Co. Limerick dairy farm, Mary Therese now resides in the English countryside where her private practice serves a diverse portfolio of clients, from farmers to actors.
The Ballinwillin House farm meditation and mindfulness RetrEAT will take place from Friday, January 25 to Sunday, January 27 and Friday, March 29 to Sunday, March 31. It is priced at €895 per person.