Farming: From the Frying Pan to the Fire this year

Dark clouds but no rain. The silver lining is the number of beautiful evenings we are getting  at the moment but at the back of our minds is the knowledge that once the weather breaks, it might not stop raining for months. A feast or a famine this year!

From the Frying Pan into the Fire

April 2018 was a tough month. Every week, we hoped that the rain would stop and each week, the weather forecasters dashed our hopes as fields remained waterlogged, grass grew slowly and livestock stayed indoors eating the last of the winter fodder. Many farmers, mostly those on drier land and accustomed to having their livestock out in February and March, ran out of fodder and had to purchase more.

The cows were indoors for months [...]

When Farming tests your Intelligence, Energy Levels and Memory Skills

Dark clouds but no rain. The silver lining is the number of beautiful evenings we are getting  at the moment but at the back of our minds is the knowledge that once the weather breaks, it might not stop raining for months. A feast or a famine this year!

I’m not sure if this reveals that I am dopey, conscientious or just plain tired – maybe a mixture of all three. It’s been a busy time on the farm. While normally the cows would be getting all their feed from grass in the fields during the summer (unless it’s very wet which happens more often than we would like), this heatwave and lack of rain means we’re having to spend time (and money) providing them with soya hulls and [...]

Me and My Dogs: Sam says ‘Sod the hardship’

Sam, not so sure that he is having a good hair day re being photogenic

Ireland often has four seasons in one day. This year, it feels like we’ve had an extremely long winter, two weeks of spring, and now we’re into a tropical summer with this heatwave (over 30c yesterday and today)and drought. Farmers on dry land are running out of grass and feeding bales of silage to their livestock, we’re feeding a couple of bales a day to stretch our grass. During the cold weather, Sam wasn’t too keen on working. He’d come [...]

The Unlikely Farmer – Extract from ‘Till the Cows Come Home

Till the Cows Come Home

Writing a memoir was a slightly daunting task. I intended to share stories from over three generations of family farming, mainly recounting stories from our childhoods: my dad’s from when they moved to Garrendenny in 1945 when he was 7 years old, my childhood of the 1970s and also to provide stories from when we took over the farm in 2002 showing how why many things have changed, some elements remain very similar for children, no matter what era they [...]

Launching ‘Till the Cows Come Home’

Book launch: Till the Cows Come Home

The launch of my book Till the Cows Come Home has been and gone. I have to admit that in the run up to it, I was thinking to myself that never ever again will I be crazy enough to launch a book in the spring. Let’s just say that most farmers were at silage rather than thinking about attending book launches!

Book launch: Till the Cows Come Home[...]