Farmers can be spotted a mile off. It might be the big friendly wave, the slowing down to peer over hedges at passing fields and cattle. It might be the tell-tale farmer tan, or the ever present muddy wellies. But, the farmer-look is an obvious one. So, how easy is it to spot the woman behind the Man. The farmer’s wife.
There are 139,000 farming families in Ireland. These days, farmer’s wives are not stereotypical pinny wearing, soda bread baking women, but rather have careers and professions of their own. They are dynamic, versatile, resourceful and the backbone of the farming community. But no matter how they try to hide it, there are certain traits which set them apart, even when they are not wearing wellies.
Here are six unmistakeable signs that you are a fully-fledged farmer’s wife.
- You always know the weather forecast: A constant eye to the skies, ear to the various weather forecaster and a watchful eye on nature ensures that you are expert in predicting the weather. The child of Prague statue may be on stand-by for special occasions and you are rarely caught out without rain gear or the Factor 50.
- ‘Sharing a cab’ has nothing to do with Uber, Halo or any other taxi company: ‘Sharing a cab’ means sitting up in the tractor beside Himself as you help to bring the hay, turf, and the messages home. Or when your beloved has asked you to give a hand for ‘a minute or so’ out the fields. The upside is that you can enjoy some one on one quality time. The downside is that the ‘minute’ can be anything up to 5 hours.
- A lie in is 8am. What can we say? Farming is intensive.
- Holidays and Outings: Secretly, you actually enjoy the ploughing championships and local agricultural shows. On the rare occasions that you can get a holiday (in between lambing, calving, silage, hay turf and sowing) it is likely to involve looking at farms and agricultural practices abroad. #busmansholiday.
- You sort your washing by level of dirt, rather than by colour: Farm laundry needs an industrial machine and an industrious woman with a strong stomach for smells and unidentified stains. The urban housewife would balk at the laundry tasks of the average farmer’s wife.
- Dinner is at lunch time, tea is at dinner time and no one has ever eaten brunch: Most self-respecting farming families eat their dinner at the correct time, the middle of the day. Tea time coincides with the angelus and a Panini is never on the menu. No matter how many fancy cook books you buy, your best beloved Irish farmer is still a savage for bacon and cabbage. Meat and two veg, hang sandwiches and a lovely apple tart are the order of the day.
Is it any wonder that every farmer wants a wife. The Irish farm would not function as well as it does without the independent, multi-tasking farmer spouse. She does all the work of every other wife and mother but adds in hand rearing lambs, collecting eggs and dosing the odd donkey, for good measure. So, don’t be tempted to sneer at the hay still caught in her hair, or the calf supplement in her handbag, the Irish farmers wife is an unrecognised national treasure.
Photo Credit: thelittlefarmhousepantry