What I Learned This Week


  • 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 !

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.

 

Women Are Only Good For…..


calf

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 ?

 

What I Learned This Week.


  • That I will never get that golden tan in the sun.
  • That I will always have some sort of a farmers tan, only mine isn’t brown it’s red and freckles. 
  • That sometimes it’s just too warm for food.
  • The best subcream we have found for sun protection is Boots own brand.
  • That I can’t wait to be off in two weeks time for nine full weeks.
  • That the Fifty shades of grey movies don’t have the best cast or story line but Jamie Dornan can just fix everything. 
  • There is so much to be done for the end of year in school.
  • That my birkinstocks are getting more comfy as I wear them.
  • That I still love when we make pink hayledge bales because some money goes to cancer research.

So that was my week, what did you learn this week ? 

What Saturdays Are For.


For me this is what my Saturdays are: 

  • Getting a lie in till maybe 7.30am
  • Having time over breakfast
  • Getting some much needed housework done
  • A day full of horses
  • Not having to make dinner most Saturdays 
  • Taking time to sit with Sid and watch the Saturday night movie
  • Having a coffee and a treat with either a movie or book when Sid is in bed ( tonight it’s a cadbury crunchie ice cream and coffee)
  • Staying up later than normal because I can have a lie in tomorrow morning.


So there is a typical Saturday for me, how was your Saturday? 

When a holiday isn’t a holiday.


I am very lucky with my job away from the farm, being a Montessori teacher means I get all school holidays off which is great because it breaks up the year. The only difference with my holidays from work is that it’s not time off. Now maybe most people are the same I don’t know but on a farm a holiday is normally not a holiday, far from it. 

I had two weeks off at Easter, a time to relax with family, eat loads of chocolate and get excited about the warm weather approaching. In my case I was really looking forward to going back to work after my two weeks off just to have a rest. 

Living on a farm means any time someone is off from work, school or college means a few days or weeks to get as much jobs as possible done and work as many hours as you can. While it is a great life to have for adults and kids it is also a hard one but it does make you really enjoy those few minutes of peace or when you can take a Sunday off and relax for the day. Definitely life on a farm makes you appreciate the little things an awful lot more. 

So roll on the next break in eight weeks Time, two months then to get lots of work done. 

Elaine.