10 Reasons Why Living in the country is the Best.

COUNTRY BLOG

I’m moving back to the country.

After leaving college I realised, like most from farming backgrounds, the farm isn’t going to make enough to support the parents and me, so I had to go get myself one of those pesky job things. Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Living in the country is the Best.”

Parasite Control at Housing

housing blog

In the last blog I spoke about the Celts running their animals between two bonfires during Samhain to cleanse them and bring them good luck for the start of the New Year.  Cleansing the animals at this time of year is a farming practice that is still valid today, though we’d like to think our methods of cleansing these days is more effective against parasites than a stroll through the bonfire. (But who knows, maybe it does bring luck; if prices don’t improve next year I might try for a bit of bonfire good luck next year!) Continue reading “Parasite Control at Housing”

Samhain – The origin of Halloween

Halloween blog

Halloween is fast approaching, bringing with it the menace of ghoulish children threatening your property with “tricks” unless you appease them with sugar; to hype them up with enough energy to hound the rest of the neighbours! The old offering of fruit and nuts we frequently got as youngsters is the quickest way of getting these monsters riled up for a bit of haunting, trickery and destruction. Continue reading “Samhain – The origin of Halloween”

The Lord of the Eggs: Return of the Chicken

egg blog

In years gone by every farm kept chickens. They provided the household with valuable food in the form of Eggs and meat and an additional source of income or more often in this country a bargaining chip. I once spoke to an old man who used to have a mobile shop that travelled through the countryside selling tea, sugar and other groceries to farms around the country. Often he would accept eggs, milk and even the occasional knitwear as barter for these goods that he would then bring and sell in the towns. He told me with a wry smile that my great grandmother was the bane of his life as she would turn up with so many eggs that he would not only have to exchange the groceries but give her additional money or credit.  This “egg money” was the farmer’s wife’s only income in a time when the man of the house often controlled the money. The American singer/songwriter Susan Werner even wrote a humorous song about this phenomenon simply titled “Egg Money” which gives a good insight into the importance of the hens to the farmer’s wife, though with a slightly sinister twist! Continue reading “The Lord of the Eggs: Return of the Chicken”

Why all the fuss about the Ploughing?

ploughing crowd blog

In my Fiancée’s Grandmother’s house there is a picture of her grandfather and his horses competing, and winning in the ploughing back in the forties. It takes pride of place in the living room; it’s an elite club that have held that title after all. Seventy years on and it’s time for another group to fight it out for this and the various other ploughing titles up for grabs. Since it’s humble beginnings back in the thirties the ploughing Championship has become the best festival in the country; hell, it’s the biggest outdoor event of its kind in the EU so we’ll claim Europe too. So why is it the place to be every September? Continue reading “Why all the fuss about the Ploughing?”

Protect your property from Rural Crime

Rural crime blog

Rural crime remains a major issue around the country. Despite 2017 statistics suggesting  that crime in Ireland only rose 3% on the 2016 levels, there are some who question the validity of these claims as they are based on crimes reported. Some suggest that up to 43% if not more of rural crime go unreported. This makes sense when you consider that numerous rural Garda stations have closed leaving many communities without a local Garda they know and trust. Couple that with the statistics from a 2018 survey suggesting that only 62% of people believe that the Garda have power to do anything about crimes reported to them (this same report has reporting of crimes as high as 84%). Continue reading “Protect your property from Rural Crime”

Pre Tupping Time

Pre tupping blog

It’s coming to that time of year again when sheep farmers are thinking about the mating season for their flocks. Most people are looking to the future lambing period and thinking about getting the timing right so they’re lambing at a time that suits. They’re considering how long or short a lambing period they are aiming for, what market they want to have lambs ready for and whether they are going to lamb indoors or out. While all these are important things to think about, there is an air of “counting your chickens before they hatch” about it. I used to be one of these sheep farmers, thinking solely about letting the ram out based on when I could be confident of having grass for the lambs when born. I knew that the ewes had to be in good order at tupping but as long as they had grass in front of them from three weeks out for flushing, I was happy enough to throw the ram in and let nature take care of the rest. However this attitude eventually caught up with me. Continue reading “Pre Tupping Time”

Alternatives to straw bedding

straw blog

Climate change is wreaking havoc on our farming communities the past few years, particularly this year with a wet winter and spring followed by this drought, leaving fodder reserves at crisis point. This has now spread to bedding with problems looming for the coming winter. A video circulating on social media showing farmers queuing up to take pre-purchased bales straight from the back of a baler says it all!  Yet despite the challenges we will have to provide animals and calves in particular with a ‘dry lie’ next winter. With straw at a premium it is worthwhile looking at viable alternatives to use, especially peat, slats for calves and rubber mats in calving pens. Continue reading “Alternatives to straw bedding”

10 Survival Tips for Show Spectators

survival blog

Last time we offered advice for those showing animals at shows this year, so now we’ve put together a few tips for those thinking of heading to some shows as spectators, be they small local ones or larger national shows. Livestock shows bring a lot of life to communities over the summer and it’s always a good day out no matter what age you are. However you can easily get overwhelmed by the event and you can end up leaving regretting some decisions if you aren’t careful. So here are the Agridirect teams tips to make sure you make the most of the day. Continue reading “10 Survival Tips for Show Spectators”

10 Tips for Getting Ready to Show your Livestock

show blog

Yes it is show season again so we’ve put together a few tips for those wishing to show some livestock this year. Livestock shows bring a lot of life to communities over the summer and it’s down to those who take the time to bring their animals out.  So whether you are new to the showing and need some advice starting out or a seasoned pro needing a few reminders for the coming season, hopefully these tips will help you on your way. Continue reading “10 Tips for Getting Ready to Show your Livestock”