Europe’s Largest Outdoor Festival.


On Wednesday and Thursday last week myself and the farmers headed to Europe’s largest outdoor festival ! . When I think of festivals I think of summer time, loads of music, face paints, shorts and fancy wellies and very trendy famous people with farming being the last thing I would think of. Europe’s largest outdoor festival is actually all things farming, food and enterprise with a little bit of music and dancing thrown in but no muddy fields full of tents. The National ploughing Championships this year were on Tues, Wed and Thurs the 19th to 21st of September and was held in Screggan in Co Offaly.  The ploughing is a yearly event that over the three days attract over 200,000 people, they come from far and near to see millions of euro worth of machinery, livestock and food. This day out is planned from one year to the other in a lot of houses and we haven’t missed it in years. This is an event for not just the farming community but for everyone as there is just so much to see and do and even though the weather this year on the Wednesday was crap we still wouldn’t have missed it, after all isn’t that what rain gear is for ?

This year was also a little special as the eldest farmer ( on the right) received his award from Dairymaster on the Wednesday and was presented it to him by the Minister for Agriculture, Micheal Creed. The two lads worked hard ( partied hard )on their thesis and it payed off in the end, they both started college together and received their awards together as well.

There were lots of cute animals to see and also a pink Valtra tractor for breast cancer, I couldn’t convince the farmers that we really needed this tractor.

For the last couple of years I have curated the @IrelandsFarmers twitter account on the Wednesday of the ploughing, taking photos and some videos during the day to share with the over 12k followers the account has, this year I got to curate for two days, the Wed and Thurs and it was made extra special as on the Wednesday it and myself were number 1 in the top 5 journalists to follow for the plouging which I was delighted with as its a great account giving people a inside view of real life on a farm. Here is the link below.

We put together a list of the top 5 journalists tweeting from #ploughing17. https://t.co/MLUMACCPCH

So that’s the ploughing over for another year and we are all looking forward to next year already, Roll on September 2018.

 

Our Summer Adventures: Week 1 and 2.


Sorry there was no post yesterday but I want to share with you some of our adventures we are having this summer so I will be posting on a Tuesday now instead of a Monday. For the summer Mondays are mine, the farmer and Sids day off so we are trying to head away from  the yard for that day. So last week it was the farmer who decided where we went and we headed to the beautiful city of Kilkenny. This is a beautiful place to visit with so much to see and do. We parked in the car park beside the river which wasn’t expensive, we were parked most of the day. We headed to the shopping centre first and then back down the town to get some lunch. Now being coeliac getting food out when we are away is always a little nerve wracking because you want to get good food and also not limit the farmers as to where they can eat so we tried Langtons, they had a huge choice for us all and there was no problem with me getting gluten free. After lunch we headed to see the castle which just like something out of a fairy tale. You can go on a tour of the castle but we didn’t we just enjoyed the grounds which has a playground, acres of grass to play on and a beautiful rose garden.

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We then headed back to look at the rest of the shops along the streets of Kilkenny and stopped into a little cafe just across from Kytelers Inn for the best scones and tea I have tasted in ages they even have gluten free. We spent the whole day in Kilkenny and enjoyed every minute of it, its a beautiful place and Sid didn’t get bored once.

So yesterday it was my choice and I brought the farmer and Sid to the Irish national stud and Japanese gardens in Kildare. There is free parking at the stud, there are picnic tables in the car park if you didn’t want to buy food when you were there. It cost 29euro for the three of us to entry the stud which isn’t expensive when you see the size and the up keep of the place. We went to see the gardens first and they are so pretty with a stone track to follow and a map to explain each stop on the way.

Sid loved exploring the gardens and looking into all the little tunnels and caves. When we were finished in the garden we headed to the restaurant for our lunch. It was 33euro for the three of us for our lunch and there are lots of gluten free options on the menu.

We ate our lunch out on the terrace and this was our view along with a swan and her baby.

 

After lunch we headed to the best bit or for me anyway, the stud farm. This place is just a horse lovers dream but it is equally beautiful for anyone. On the stud you get to look around all the stable yards, the stallions have air conditioning in their stables!. You get to meet some mares and their foals, see some of the top stallions they have and meet some legends of racing like Hardy Eustace, who we got to rub he is really friendly.

We got to visit the racing museum, see a video of a foal being born in the stud and learn a little about the man who started the stud back in 1900, Colonel William Hall Walker and how he believed the stars sealed the faith of each foal born and that every horse should be able to see the stars from their stable.

There is a playground near the mares and foals and also a fair door trail right around the stud for the kids to follow. Each fairy they find has an important job on the stud and each child gets a map for them to follow. Sid loved this but he did want to take home this foal, she was such a friendly little thing looking for rubs from everyone who went past. This is a great day out for all the family even if you have no interest in horses and its fully accessible to buggies or wheelchairs.

So there are our first two summer adventures, where have you been this summer on your adventures ? would love to hear all about them.