How to marry a farmer

I’m told that the best place to find a farmer husband in Ireland is at the National Ploughing Championships, a three-day mid-week event that this year attracted more than 279 000 people. Not that I’m looking or anything… but it’s been on my bucket list now for a number of years – the Ploughing, that is, not the farmer. Mind you, I could well be tempted. Some of those lads had to be in search of a wife themselves, but it’s hard to compete with the latest Massy Feguson. Most of the punters were there to see  the 460 or so stands displaying everything from supermarket food to combine harvesters. Apparently only 10% (myself included) actually go look at the ploughing itself.

IMG_4754 (800x600)

You could eat your way around the Aldi and Lidl stands (the sausages were in the great demand) or enter competition after competition to try to win a year’s supply of fertiliser or heating fuel. There were fashion shows (wellies are all the rage this year) both for people and animals, and displays of all sorts that made sure everyone was catered for. Had I been in practice, I’d have signed up for the Welly-Throwing Competition. As it was I had to tear myself away from the sheepdog trials. Just about anything passes for entertainment and it’s the simple stuff that’s the most amusing.

IMG_4795 (800x600)

On the radio during the week in the lead-up to the big event, Lorna Sixsmith  was being interviewed (she’s written a book called Would you marry a farmer?). And she was at the Ploughing  – am raging I missed her stickers:

Marry_A_Farmer_Stickers

IMG_4747 (800x600)

I dated a farmer once. And while we were stepping out, I read the Farmers Independent on a Friday with a religiosity that bordered on fervour. I knew all there was to know about artificial insemination, silage, and calving. I could
find my way around a milking parlour and even managed to milk a cow or two by hand. That skill is still with me. It’s like riding a bike – you never forget. I was as familiar with cattle prices then as I am with the forint/euro exchange rates today. And I knew enough to know that you have to get the lingo right – drawing cattle means moving them, not painting them. Leave the easel and the oil paints at home. Thank you, Lorna. And as for the abbreviations and the acronyms? You’d need a degree to figure out what they’re talking about.

IMG_4748 (800x600)

IMG_4837 (800x600)IMG_4757 (600x800)

But back then, farming was farming. Today it seems to have gone all technical. Do you know that cows have showers now? Custom-made jobs, too. And these calving cameras had me going for a while. It’s all high tech stuff and I suppose it has to be really – there’s no reason in the world why modern technology should have passed the farmers by. And, believe it or not, there’s a UK-based Internet dating site specially for them  – Muddy Matches. ‘Tis a far cry from the days of John B. Keane’s John Bosco in  The Chastitute. Bachelor farmers these days apparently think more about the land they stand to lose should a marriage not work out than all they stand to gain if it does.

I hadn’t given much thought to what sort of farmer I’d be into, were I in the market for one. But apparently tillage farmers, according to Lorna, actually have down time and there might be some chance of a holiday once a year. The dairy ones are early risers and are at it year ’round. And as for the breeders… am not sure I could compete with a prize heifer. I have a thing for undivided attention and sharing it with a beast who is regularly titivated might be too much for me. Mind you, there’s always Seamus.

IMG_4797 (800x600)

 

Subscribe to get notified when I publish something new.

5 Responses

  1. I think this shows you what you may have missed . . .

    overheard in county sligo

    I married a man from County Roscommon
    and I live in the back of beyond
    with a field of cows and a yard of hens
    and six white geese on the pond.

    At my door’s a square of yellow corn
    caught up by its corners and shaken,
    and the road runs down through the open gate
    and freedom’s there for the taking.

    I had thought to work on the Abbey stage
    or have my name in a book,
    to see my thought on the printed page,
    or still the crowd with a look.

    But I turn to fold the breakfast cloth
    and to polish the lustre and brass,
    to order and dust the tumbled rooms
    and find my face in the glass.

    I ought to feel I’m a happy woman
    for I lie in the lap of the land,
    but I married the man from County Roscommon
    and I live at the back of beyond.

    GILLIAN CLARKE

  2. Your list of farmer types to marry is missing one important consideration: Vineyardist and wine maker.

    I know not many options there for Ireland farmer husbands, but why limit yourself geographically?

    Besides, I always say one should love the products you produce from a farm. Cheese is all well and fine, but grapes only need to be “milked” once a year.

    ( P.S. Am a vineyardist and wine maker, but alas, I am also already taken….. 🙂 )

    1. Well there’s a new one on me. I’d never had thought of a vineyard being a farm – but yes, you’re right. Time to broaden my horizons 🙂

Talk to me...

%d bloggers like this:

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information on cookies and GDPR

Cookies and GDPR Compliance

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

General Data Protection Regulation

If you have voluntarily submitted your email address so that you can receive notifications of new posts, please be assured that I don't use your address for anything other than to do just that - and that's done automatically. I might use your address, if I knew how to, but I don't.

This blog does not make money, it does not carry sponsored content, it has no ads for which I receive any form of payment. If I review a place or a restaurant or a book, I don't receive any compensation from anyone. I wish I did, but that would require marketing myself and life is too short. If something changes, I will be sure to let you know.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe or manage subscription links at the bottom of every email you receive. When you comment on a blog post, Google Analytics tracks where you're posting from. This is stored and I can check my stats to see how many clicks I had today, where people clicked from, and what they clicked on. That's it. Nothing more.

I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, particularly to other commenters. If you want to have one of your comments deleted, the please get in touch with me at: mary@irjjol.com. I'm all for the right to be forgotten so will happily oblige.

So, in a nutshell, if you give me your email address voluntarily to subscribe to new posts or if you opt to subscribe to new comments, then you email is just used for this. Nothing else. Promise.

Close