- That it’s still a little too warm for the woolly jumpers yet, still sweating in work when I have one on.
- That Gluten free apple crumble is just as good as one with normal flour.
- That life has gotten in the way of blogging this week.
- That Autumn is still one of my favourite times of year.
- I learned this week about an inspiring Danish fashion labeln called Carcel , Carcel means prison in Spanish and that’s exactly where their beautiful knitwear comes from. Women in prison in Peru for various crimes knit all their items, you can read their stories on the website, the knitwear is really gorgeous but way too expensive for me I am afraid.
- If you also like Autumn then here are some Instagram hashtags to check out full of beautiful Autumn inspiration : #savouringtheseasons , #embracingtheseasons , #aslowmoment , #thisismykingdom , #lovelifeoutside , #slowautumndays , #upandautumn , #mystoryofautumn , #myodetoautumn , #openuptoautumn .
Have a good week everyone !
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.
Above photo by Elisha Clarke of some of our cute cattle.
This is a subject that from time to time plays on my mind and I know as I write it I will possibly have a hit put on me for not standing by my fellow females. I was born and raised on a farm and from a very early age I was never made feel I couldn’t do anything on the farm I wanted to do, I was never told I should stay inside or that a farm wasn’t really a place for a girl/woman. I went everywhere with my dad from sheep sales to shows and never did I feel I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been. As I got older more and more responsibility was given to me and I was left at times to deal with vets or cattle dealers and what I said to them stood and I was always backed by my Dad. I grew up knowing that I was equal to any man if I so chose to do a certain job from driving a tractor to lambing ewes and all the men I dealt with treated me the same.
I now live with a house of men and I still feel I am treated as an equal, I am not given any special treatment because I am female and am expected to muck in when needed as is everyone else. I am treated with the same respect as the men in the house by anyone who visits and if I happen to meet someone who is old school, and they are a few I make sure they get a little education about women on a farm before I am done with them. Now this is where I think other females are falling down and they are just feeding into the old views of females on farms, I don’t think they are helping change age old views of females on farms. The other day I saw a post on Facebook about men complaining about why do women get cheaper car insurance than men and why have they got their own company who only insure women? this person asked was this not defeating the whole drive for women to be equal? that having groups that were just for females was keeping them isolated , which I am in total agreement with.
I think in farming this isn’t any different ( sorry women ) it is great to have groups where women can meet and socialise, this I agree with but I think to be seen as an equal we need to just mix with the men to be honest, why do we need to meet as a group to talk about what we do for farming or how we are not treated equal at home/ in our community when we should actually be getting out there and going on the same farm walks as the men, going to the same conferences as the men and to local discussion groups so to be honest we become part of the furniture and no one looks twice at us.
There is an old saying in the farming community that women are only good for stopping a gap, taking down tag numbers or doing the paperwork and that is not going to change unless we show just how important those little jobs are to the running of the farm. If we didn’t stop a gap when we are asked the stock would not go where they were supposed to so our input is just as important as the person herding the stock from behind, it’s pretty hard to read tag numbers and write them down at the same time and I am sure no one wants to do paperwork after a long day outside so if we can do it then that frees up time for other jobs, so it’s time for us to show that all those tiny jobs, the ones that have been a laugh over the years are just as important to the running of the farm and should not be a joke and going to all female group meetings is not going to change how we are treated and I am pretty sure if the male farming community started their own men only groups their would be up roar.
I feel as a female in farming us women are our own worst enemy, we love to complain about not being treated equal but to be honest we don’t do much about it and I don’t think female only groups will change how we are seen but will only serve to keep us separate. The best way to change how we are treated is to start at home with your own farmer/ farmers and then start to work outside of that and eventually you will be treated no different to anyone else. We are the only people who can change how we are treated and being involved is the only way to do that, if it’s from keeping the house running, bills paid and a clean supply of work clothes to stopping gaps or milking or tag reading each is just as important to how everything else runs and a progressive farm is going to be the one where it works as a team.
So where are you going to start ?
(Photo by the main farmer, I robbed it off his twitter account)
For the next week the @IrelandsFarmers twitter account is going to be stuck listening to me, God help them all. It won’t be my first time to curate the account for a week and I will be doing it again the Wednesday of National Ploughing Championships which runs from the 19th to the 21st of September this year.
The @IrelandsFarmers twitter account is a huge source of information about all aspects of farming in Ireland from Dairy to sheep, beef to snails, honey to pigs, all you could ever want to know is shared here weekly by a different farmer. It’s a place full of statistic and numbers, profits and losses and everything in between but this week I think we will add a little girlie touch ( sorry men but you are still more than welcome to share your girlie side as well).
I love being on the farm, being involved in everything that is going on and pulling my weight the same as anyone else when it comes to work but I am not good with the technical side to it. I could go measure grass but don’t ask me to work out the end result, when the farmers here talk about machines I can understand what they are on about but don’t ask me to tell anyone else, and when it comes to DM in grass, acres to hectares, growth rates, EBI’s in cows or anything else well that’s what I have my three Farmers for.
So this coming week I would like to share the other side to the farm a little, the behind the scenes, the little things that keep the whole place running, the sometimes very over looked jobs by the women, the things that make me girlie and why I think women in farming are sometimes their own worst enemy ( I might have a hit on me after this one). All technical questions you want to know I will ask one of my three Farmers for you guys.
I will share our week, our farm and give you a very honest look at how we run our little farm and why team work is very important to us. I am planning on using my Instagram Stories to share daily clips which you will find Here so go follow now I gave up on Snapchat and if you don’t already go follow the @IrelandsFarmers twitter account so you can share your stories as well.
Looking forward to the week ahead, see you all in the morning.
As I type this I am on my last day of my summer nine week break, the time has just flown by summer days creeping into Autumn days. I am back to work tomorrow but this year after four years I am starting in a new school, new kids, new parents and new staff to work with. This is a school I have hoped to get a job in since I started back Montessori teaching six years ago and tomorrow is my first day.
I can’t wait to get started but one of the main reasons I am really looking forward to it is I think my new hours are going to free up my time so much more that I will be able to help on the farm and do more with my horses. I have always worked mornings, leaving home at 8am and not getting home till 2pm, this left me with no time hardly to get anything else done. I had to go collect Sid at 2.40pm and again he was home, had a snack, got his homework done and clothes changed it could be 4.30pm before we were ready to do any work and then it was nearly time to make the dinner and that was it, day done. I missed out on so much that was happening on the farm and even the horses missed out because I only had time to see them at feed times and even that was rushed most days.
Now I will be working afternoons, home every evening by 6.10pm, Sid will be with me and will have his homework done so when we are home we will have nothing to do only make the dinner and relax for the evening and I will be off for all school holidays. I will be free in the mornings till 12.30 once Sid is gone to school to do what ever is needed from jobs on the farm, riding some horses, doing the food shop to just drinking coffee for the morning in peace before I go to work. Our lives this summer have started to move at a fast pace and I don’t want to be so busy that it all happens while I am in work, I want to be part of the changes and also have time to some things I enjoy as well. My new school also has no uniform to get ready and no work to bring home and spend my weekend trying to get done which is also a first for me.
So tomorrow the adventure begins, new routines and excitement for all the possible things I can get done, roll on 6.30am !.
- I learned yesterday how to to take moody photos like the one of Sid above.
- I learned that its really nice to meet people you know for years online off line.
- That I have an idea for something floating around in my head for a while and maybe I should start seeing can I get it into action.
- I learned that if you work hard enough anything is possible after a really nice email from my editor.
- I learned that the only way to stop having to go everyday to the shop is to do a really good weekly food shop, only had to go for milk and read once this week.
- I had thought all my hormonal issues were easing up the last few months but no it hit with force again this month.
- I learned that the only way I can have a productive week is to use my planning by three.
- I also learned that even when I have it all planned and have the best intentions there are times when I just won’t get it all done.
- That we need to just stop and make the most of time when we are off from work, myself and Sid decided on Wednesday to just head to the beach and we had a great time.
- That I would read a lot of books if I didn’t have to work.
What did you learn this week?