Farmers Feed Families launched a social initiative earlier this summer to raise awareness of daily life in farms across Ireland. Each week Anne Brady of Farmers Feed Families will interview the tweeting Irish farmer. 

This week’s tweeting Irish farmer is: Olive Hallahan on life on Castlemary Farm in Colyne, Co Cork

Olive and her husband John run an 80-acre farm in Cloyne, Co Cork. They are running the farm 18 years and have seen many changes in that time from both of them doing it part time to now nearly full time. John still does some electrical work when times are a bit quieter and Olive fits in some part-time childcare from September to May.

“We farm sheep, goats, tillage and also run boarding kennels and cattery. The sheep were first on the farm along with cattle for years, but after doing a two-year feasibility study we found we were not making enough from the cattle to justify all the work going into them.

“On Saturdays we run a farm shop on the farm. We have our regulars and there is always someone new popping in for a look and they are more than welcome to see the farm and have a look around. Visitors love the goats and sheep and particularly love when its lambing and kidding time.

“With the goats milk I make soft goats cheese, cheddar style goats cheese, natural yoghurt,  buttermilk and at the weekends I bake for the shop using the whey buttermilk, yoghurt and cheese. We also sell the goat meat.

“We sell our products at The Country Market on a Friday in Midleton, Black Rabbit Market in Youghal on a Wednesday (through another lady Mary Kay an amazing American with a great work ethic) Saturday at Blackwater Garden Center over the boarder in Co Waterford. Helen Ahern Kitchen and Cake Shop Midleton. You will also find us on the Menu at Sage Restaurant Midleton, The Herring Gull Ballycotton, Barnabrow Country House Cloyne and The Walter Raleigh Hotel Youghal , The Cloyne Deli and last but not least The Farmyard Shop Cloyne .

“The biggest challenge is to keep  on top of everything, write it down , write it down, write it down !!! Favourite thing about this job is the great outdoors and the array of people you meet. I love to talk and just as well as John loves to listen. Its a great environment to bring up a family, we have five children ranging in age from 6 to 22  they all have their jobs to do and the sooner they get done the sooner they get fed.

Picture courtesy Tweeting Farmers: Life on Olive Hallahan farm in Castlemary Farm in Colyne, Co Cork. “Order of the day I’m milking this morning.”

By Anne Brady of Farmers Feed Families
Irish farmers are tweeting about their day-to-day lives, work and produce over @TweetingFarmers