Without wanting to sound too morose and, dare I say it, a ‘stereotypically grumpy farmer’, it has been a tough year for farmers this year. Between the late, very wet, very cold spring which meant winter extended into May, and then a drought during the summer, it’s been a year that involved a lot of extra work as we were still doing winter work for weeks during the heatwave. Without even thinking about the bank balance, a lot of farmers [...]
Are Cows Just Numbers?
Every Irish bovine has a number that is individual to them. It’s called a tag number and they have to wear a bright yellow tag in each ear. Each bovine is also issued with a passport which contains details such as their sire (father), dam (mother), date of birth, breed and sex. The passport must accompany them if they are being sold or sent to the factory. Before such documentation became compulsory, many farmers gave their cows [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
I was chatting to a friend recently, I hadn’t seen her in months and she commented that I had kept my book quiet. Had I really? Surely I had told everyone. But then I realised that between finishing the boarding school book, writing the memoir, editing it and then into calving and the long winter, that I’ve been living the life of a hermit really. I’ve talked about it on social media but I haven’t been out much nor have [...]