News from Cape Clear Ferries

Cape Clear Island Lavender Initiative

Cape Clear Ferry Blog

Cape Clear Island Lavender Initiative

How an Inspirational Project is quite literally taking root on Cape Clear Island.

An odorous corner of the garden

Cape Clear Island off West Cork, Ireland’s most south-westerly inhabited island welcomes a dramatic, colorful, odorous and sustainable new industry.

Virtuous Cycle of Sustainable Growth

They see the opportunity for a virtuous cycle of sustainable growth and development on the Island based on its natural beauty and resources. New products in the craft, food and beverage sectors, will follow while providing a boost to its agritourism sector.

Lavender Volunteers Cape Clear Island
A volunteer is worth 10 paid men

No one is suggesting for a second that Cape Clear island’s natural beauty needs to be enhanced in any way. Its  rather that its hard-working agriculturalists and food producers deserve another less difficult crop that can be harvested for years to come. Of course the Island’s bees and its bee keepers are delighted with  such a great honey producing plant. And no doubt many of  its 1,000’s of visitors will be intrigued and delighted by the scent of lavender in the pristine Island air. And all to boost the growing tourism sector on the Island.

A Straightforward Plan

Lavender plot Cape Clear
Lavender plot overlooking Calf Islands, Roaringwater Bay

The plan is straightforward. In 2021 500 or so lavender plants were planted around the Island which validated its lavender friendly climate. A further 5,000 plants followed this year . 2023 will see lavender as a self-sustaining crop with a minimum of 5,000 additional plants. The lavender is being planted in gardens and other available plots that can be seen from the Island’s roads. In fact, one plot is directly above the main Island Pier seen by visitors arriving on the Island.

Joe O Driscoll and his still
Joe O Driscoll poses beside his new lavender still on Cape Clear Island.

This is a project that gives and gives and gives. Lavender once established needs only minimal maintenance. Its fragrant blossoms can be used for a staggering range of products for home, health and culinary uses.  They are especially are suitable for small scale artisan production which can be sold directly by the producers themselves. Cape Clear has thriving craft outlets and no doubt its producer will soon incorporate lavender into their products.

Successful Commercial Trial of Lavender Products

This Summer 2022, various lavender-based products, produced elsewhere are being trialed in the Island Craft Shop and they are already a great favorite with visitors. Some island producers are already using lavender with Cleire Goats producing its first ever lavender flavored ice cream.  Local Michelin Star Chef, Ahmed Dede of the Custom House Baltimore , always an innovator, has also incorporated Cape Clear lavender into his cooking . Cape Clear Distillery also plans to add a Lavender Gin at the earliest opportunity.

Mick Daly with Lavender Pot
Mike Daly, co-promoter of Cape Clear Lavender Initiative

Lavender Festival

As the interest and confidence grows, the Island is already looking forward to its first annual Lavender Festival in the Summer of 2024.

Cape Clear Lavender initiative is one a number of exciting projects taking place on Cape Clear Island which currently welcomes new families and those interested in settling on the Island. For more information check out the Islands website Cape Clear Island