Family Farm

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Developed by

Dublin ZooAgri Aware

Hi! Steph and Éadaoin here after our very first weekend as Young Farmers at Family Farm, developed by Agri Aware and Dublin Zoo.

On our first weekend as Young Farmers we were so excited to introduce ourselves to visitors and familiarise ourselves with our new role.

We led our very first farm tour at Family Farm and had loads of fun engaging with everyone about the farm animals and the important role they play on the farm. We introduced visitors to Áine, Family Farm’s Holstein Friesian dairy cow; Gertie and Maeve, the Charolais cow and calve; the Tamworth boar and sow, Benny and Lisa; Texel and Suffolk sheep; Goliath, the Flemish Giant rabbit; our Small East African pygmy goats, and Brahma, Australorp bantam and Sussex chickens and the Indian Runner ducks. The children who visited Family Farm were so excited to learn, with the help of our biofacts, about how the teeth in cattle and sheep develop and how the fleece of a sheep is waterproof due to the secretion of an oil called lanolin.

Seosamh Breathnach, a hurley maker from County Dublin, gave interesting hurley making demonstrations to members of the public every hour between 12-4pm. Visitors to Family Farm were amazed to see the process of the hurley being made from scratch. Seosamh explained to the crowds how hurleys are made from ash and how the tree must have been felled and not cut down. Thanks to the CAP’s greening measure, trees provide a real opportunity for agriculture in the future as they sequester carbon and promote biodiversity. Trees are combined with crops or animals on the same unit of land and there are ecological and economical interactions between the trees and the agricultural components. This is known as agroforestry. ?

We also held an educational farm trail at the Family Farmhouse with questions centred around hurley making. Visitors had to listen to Seosamh's demonstrations or ask him questions to fill in the answers. Michelle Atkinson was the lucky winner of the farm trail competition. She won a brand new hurley, made by Seosamh.

Our first day as Young Farmers was a very busy one but a great one and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone here at Family Farm

On Sunday we had Michael Finnegan come in to speak about antiques. He showed members of the public his lovely farm antiques. He had everything from a butter churn to old style kettles and irons. Our visitors were really amazed to learn how household and farming jobs were done back in the days before modern equipment was invented. As Young Farmers, we had the chance to engage with loads of people and inform them about how far Ireland has progressed in the world of agriculture.

All in all, a very successful, fun filled first weekend at Family Farm was had and we are really looking forward to communicating CAP to the public in the weeks to follow.

We really hope you join us at Family Farm, Dublin Zoo between now and the end of September.

Stephanie and Éadaoin