A farmers life for me

Every morning I wake up and think there is no other life, it’s a farmers life for me in the shadow of the Blackstairs Mountains in Wexford. With a background in Ag Science (B Ag. Masters in Food), I was always interested in food production. I originally worked in an animal meal company. That company started me on my organic journey when they (ahead of their time) started producing organic meal. The more research I did, I realised how happy the animals were in a free ranging organic environment, and the taste was great.

It’s been an amazing journey over the past few years and with a small holding I’ve had many trials and tribulations to make the farm business work. We have a mixed range of animals and poultry. Every morning I go out to check on them and make sure everyone is okay. They all have their own personalities which I think comes from them being allowed to express their natural animal behaviour. The Tamworths are the funniest, they are always into something. The pigs love rooting around for natural iron whereas if they were in a more intensive system they’d have to be injected with iron. They are so clever, the minute they hear me start up the quad in the morning, they’re on the way down the field. They associate the quad with food you see.

I get very attached to all of the animals (I know – not a great way to be when you are a farmer). I think most farmers get attached to their animals. You have to really love farming as it’s a 7 day a week job. For a farmerette, you can look forward to frizzy hair, broken fingernails and a few scratches. All of this usually happens when you are meant to attend a wedding or business meeting the following day. But I wouldn’t swap it for the world.

The biggest thing we had to focus on for May and June was weed control. More weeds means less seed (and so feed for the animals). This means plenty of sore backs from pulling up the offenders. It’s an ongoing battle. It’s as if the weeds pop up over night and suddenly there’s an whole army of weeds to be fought. The ongoing weather conditions made life difficult for all farmers this spring time. The next job we are planning on doing is tidying up around the poultry night houses. Hopefully the weather will stay fine and allow us to get it done as quick as we can.