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Farming, Fishing and Forestry

posted 23 Mar 2012, 08:23 by STUDENT COUNCIL   [ updated 23 Mar 2012, 08:47 ]

Recently we have been study all about farming, fishing and forestry in 6th class. In history we learned all about farming in the past. We were very lucky that Emma's grandfather Liam Rohan came in to tell us about the difference between the modern day farming and the farming that they used to do when he was growing up. They had to milk the cows by hand but today it takes less time today because there are milking machines. Before they had to use a horse for lots of work on the farm. They put special attachments onto the horse and got on with the work they had to do but today we use tractors and we put machines on the back of them. Before people used the left over cream to make butter and butter milk and they used to sell it to the shop to make money. Back in the old days wherever they wanted to go they used horse and cart because they didn’t have cars. Most people had to walk to school and some people walked up to three miles. On farms in the past people had to go around with buckets and pick the potatoes by hand and it would take them around six to seven days and some people used to take time of school to do it. But now people have machines to pick the potatoes while they drive the tractor. Spring is a very busy time for farmers with cows calving and the farmers ploughing the fields to get ready for crops. Back in the past they used to sow the crops by hand so that must have been even busier.

Gerard Collins


After listening to Liam, we all wrote diary entries, where we tried to imagine what it would have been like to be a farmer in the 1950's

Dear Diary

Today was like most others .I got up at seven o clock, got dressed woke up my son Chris and farm hand Michael. We sat down to a breakfast of porridge and tea that my wife and daughter had prepared for us before going to the well to collect the water. Before we left to go milk the cows I said goodbye to my three other children before they went on a three mile walk to school Chris is 16 and left school last year to work on the farm. At half seven Chris Michael and I went to milk the cows. After we had finished milking the cows Michael put the milk in the horse and cart and took it to the collection point. Then two of our neighbours came to help us with saving our field of barley. We each took a scythe and began cutting the barley. It took about  five hours and then we took a break to have dinner which consisted of  three slices of bacon two boiled eggs six potatoes and cabbage for everyone. It’s a hard life we live but one things for sure we’re never short of food. Before it got dark  we milked the cows again left the milk in the churner overnight and finally after a hard day’s work I sat down to a warm fire day that my wife put down for me and ended the day listening to the radio. My back was aching , my hands were hurting and my legs were so tired I felt like they couldn’t take another step but there’s no better feeling than after a hard day’s work.

Paul Corcoran

Dear Diary

I woke this morning at the crack of dawn. I am always reluctant to get up out of the warm woven blankets. I pull on my overalls and hand knitted jumper my wife gave me last Christmas. I head on down to the kitchen. The smell of freshly baked bread filled the whole house. I  sat down at the table to spread the salty butter on my bread. After a delicious breakfast I pulled on my heavy black boots and took a deep breath of the clear morning air outside. My first job was to milk our cows. I sat  on a little wooden seat in our parlor bucket in hand. I placed it under the cow and began the milking process. A few hours later the cows were milked dry. The following day I would bring it to the market to sell. I knew I needed to start the harvesting of the crops for it would not be long before we would need to sell them. Harvesting did not take too long any more since we purchased those tractors. I was finished in a couple of hours. It Was dark outside so I knew it was time to head back home. I brought with me a small pail of milk for my wife to make butter. When I reached the house I could smell the rich smell of my wives home cooking. You could almost tell what was cooking. Beef, potatoes and carrots. I couldn’t wait to get my teeth into the food. I slept soundly that night after a good share of dinner.

Aoibhin O Connor

Dear Diary,

Today is Sunday. I wake up every morning at seven o clock. I start the day by bringing in the cows and milking them, sometimes it takes an hour and other times it takes an hour and a half. Next I feed the calves and the horses. Calves eat milk and hay horses eat hay and nuts. It was a very hot morning I ploughed the field with my horse who pulls the plough , next I harrowed the field and lastly I got down on my hands and knees and sowed the seeds. I was very tired when it was finished but it was a day well spent.  

Rebecca O Mahony     


Dear Diary,

Today was a very exciting day on the farm because we sold all our horses and purchased our very first Ferguson tractor. I have to say I was quite upset when parting with the horses because we had developed a strong relationship over the years. When I went off to sell the horses my wife had to stay behind and milk the cows [which is normally my job ] She was not happy at all.

After my lunch I went outside and started ploughing the field with my new tractor. I am proud to say that it did an absolutely fantastic job so hopefully we will make a lot of money from the vegetables we sell this year. My wife made butter in the afternoon and by God she makes amazing butter. As a matter of fact I had some of it on my spuds for supper!

Sam Egan

Dear Diary,

I woke up to the chime of the clock for seven o’ clock. I got up and had my breakfast with my four brothers and sisters. First we brought the cows into the yard and we milked them by hand with the bucket. We gave the milk to my mum to separate the milk to make butter. Then we started to clean the yard. I was very excited. Today, we were selling the horses, pony and all of the machinery. We were going then to buy a new tractor!

We made 450 pounds from selling the horse and the machinery. Then we went and bought our brand new tractor, a shiny new silver Fergerson. It cost 900 pounds. We went to the mart to sell the butter in our brand new tractor. We then came home and milked the cows again. It was a great day!!

Kevin Cussen

Dear diary                                                

I woke up late, I milked the cows and went to check on the corn, it’s almost ready a week or two more and it will be ready to plough. So a while back I asked Mary if we could get a tractor a lot of farmers have got them. Well today I got it, a pale blue ford top of the range. I was told I couldn’t use my old plough so I had to buy a new one. All in all, it came to 600 pounds. We will have to sell the horse and all the machinery to pay it off. I’ll miss the horse but we are moving forward. It was better weather than last week in was only raining slightly instead of lashing it was so much easier to load the milk.

Grace Healy

 Dear Diary,

I wake up at 6:45am every morning, have my shower and get dressed. For my breakfast I normally have porridge and tea. I walk down to the farm at roughly 7:30 am every day. I usually go to work before my family wake up. When I get to the farm I check the horses because they have a long day ahead of them. On my farm I really rely on horses to help me with ploughing-fields and lifting hay and vegetables. I feed the horses and get to work first ploughing the fields then loading the cart with carrots, sugar beet and potatoes , even if it’s raining the job has to be done. The cart driver will bring it to the co-op and the co-op will pay me. I mil the cows at 8.pm every day this takes around two hours to hand milk every cow I have 20 cows. I would like to think I’m a lucky man having cows. I go home at 10:00 nearly every day.

Jonathan Keeffe

Dear Diary,
I am very tired after a long hard day’s work. Let me tell you about it. I got up this morning at 5:30 got dressed and had a fine breakfast for the day ahead. What I did first was I herded in the cows and milked them into the tin bucket by hand. I quite liked this because it is the easiest. Then I got out the horse-drawn plough to plough the fields but we are getting our first tractor in a few weeks’ time so it will be easier. It is hard work since we have little money. A few more jobs I have are harnessing the horses, gathering the eggs and washing the clothes. In the summer I do not do this much but I help my mum and dad in the fields as I can go and play with my friends aswell. Spring, summer, fall and winter bring a lot of different chores to our work on the farm. Here in our farm we do not have a lot of machinery as we are not so rich. The job I like the most is the making of the butter, myself and my mum just finished about an hour ago, but anyway what we do is we churn the milk in dash churns. We spin the churns until the milk is turned into cream then we leave the cream settle for about an hour and we have our butter. So that is how I live and work on my farm.
Clíona Coughlan