Ear to the Ground, Series 26, Programme 10, Thursday 10th January 2019, 7:00 PM, RTÉ One
ACHILL HILL LAMB
On a very early July morning, Darragh McCullough went to Achill Island in Co Mayo as local farmer Martin Calvey was driving his sheep across Keel beach at low tide. This gathering marked the annual beginning of the selection of this year’s hill lamb for production.
Martin, who recently won the inaugural Farming For Nature Award, has been doing this for more years than he cares to remember.
From small beginnings he has built a successful family business that sells its lamb all over Europe.
In a garden just outside Tandragee in Co Armagh, a little bit of history is about to be made as one of the world’s most expensive crops has just finished its 2 year growth cycle – it’s the Japanese herb Wasabi, and it’s potentially worth a fortune.
Ella McSweeney went to see first time farmers, chemist Dr.Sean Kitson and his son Zak, on the day that they start to harvest the crop. Will their efforts have paid off? They won’t know until the plants have been dug up, as the Wasabi, and the value, is in the roots.
NEW DAIRY ENTRANT
Maighréad Barron has just put down one of the most difficult farming years in her life, as have most Irish farmers. However, in Maighréad’s case it was also her first year. The 24-year-old from Ballinamult in Co Waterford took out a lease on a 100 acre dairy farm near Clonea last January, and is just at the end of her first season milking 106 cows.
Helen Carroll spent the day with Maighréad and also with her parents who have supported her as she seeks to make her own way in life.
With Ireland lagging far behind the EU average when it comes to the numbers of women working in Agriculture, and with an ageing farming population, Maighréad is a breath of fresh air.
Produced by indiepics for RTÉ.
Ann Coughlan 00 353 87 6778045
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