Food war, yoghurts and horse power #ettg

It’s Thursday and you know what that means, it’s Ear to the Ground time!

This week’s episode takes a look at a school in Meath which is very critical of a fast-food chain that is planning to open next door, a visit to Killowen Farm where its farm-to-fork business is thriving and a go at horse ploughing. Tonight at 8.30pm on RTE, be sure not to miss it. Here’s a preview.

FOOD FIGHT 

A school in Meath is waging war on a planning application by an international fast-food chain to open a branch at the school gates.

Mary Mulligan, principal of St Joseph’s Convent of Mercy in Navan tells Ella McSweeney about how her own farming background instilled healthy lifestyle habits in her and her mission to share those habits with her students.

She feels that putting such unhealthy food right outside the school gates is irresponsible as children and young people cannot be relied upon to make the most sensible nutrition decisions. Navan, like so many towns across Ireland has been very badly hit by the Recession however local councillor Shane Cassells says the new branch has the potential to create 40 much sought-after jobs.

MAKING MOO

Killowen Farm in Wexford has been in the hands of the Dunne family for nine generations. Eight years ago they decided to add value to the milk produced by their well-fed dairy cows.

Killowen Farm yoghurts, in their distinctive glass jars, have quickly established themselves as a leading Irish food brand. This is truly a farmhouse product; there are less than four feet between the milking parlour and the yoghurt-making facility.

Nicholas Dunne tells Helen Carroll how they constantly strive to keep their yoghurt as local as possible. All of the fruit used is local, including the famed Wexford strawberries. Killowen Farm is an inspiring story of a family of farmers making the best of their local environment and improving it at the same time, by employing 14 people in a rural area.

18th CENTURY HORSE POWER

Last summer, Daragh McCullough traveled back in time to learn a skill that was once essential to all farmers – horse ploughing.

Our modern farmer Daragh, however, needed to be guided by the very able Gerry King. King holds a whopping 11 all-Ireland horse ploughing titles and had his work cut out to get Daragh up to compete at the Fingal Show last July. Daragh found himself in a one-horse race, but that didn’t convince the judges to go easy on him!

 Pictured Ella McSweeney and Mary Mulligan

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