Family Farm

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Dublin ZooAgri Aware

Hi! Steph and Éadaoin here after another hectic weekend at Agri Aware’s Family Farm in Dublin Zoo.

To start off the week, Young Farmers Steph and Éadaoin, as well as Family Farm teacher, Dr. Elizabeth Finnegan, were busy preparing for the coming week of summer camps. Thankfully the weather held up and our third week of summer camps really enjoyed their time with us on Family Farm.

On Saturday July 30, the new sheep were shorn by Meet The Farmer Godfrey Potterton and his grandson Graham. Godfrey and Graham are sheep farmers from County Westmeath. There were hourly sheep shearing demonstrations along with farm tours, led by the Young Farmers and Godfrey. As Godrey explained the importance of CAP for sheep farmers, Graham performed the shearing with electric clippers. Godfrey also educated the public on other sheep husbandry practices, such as dipping and foot bathes. Visitors then learnt about the many different uses for wool eg clothing, lanolin for beauty products, insulating houses and making bullet proof vests. A clean sheepskin rug, as well as freshly shorn wool, was passed around for visitors to feel and smell the difference between them. There were plenty of questions for Godfrey, for example, what is the life span of a sheep? Eight to twelve years.

In Agri Aware’s Family Farmhouse, a farm trail competition was held, with questions on sheep and sheep shearing, which encouraged visitors to listen attentively to the demonstrations. A bio facts table was also set up inside the Farmhouse for education on tooth development in sheep and cattle.

On Sunday August 31, Michael Finnegan returned with his magnificent display of farm antiques including; paraffin lamps, skillets, famine pots, butter churns and fish poaching tools. Michael explained how CAP provides grants and funding for agricultural jobs in Ireland, thus helping to keep many traditional crafts alive. Great crowds gathered for Michael’s talks on old farming practices.

Laurence, a sheep farmer from County Kildare, led farm tours and explained some of his duties on the farm, including caring for a flock of over 700 sheep! Many of our young visitors entered the Family Farm trail colouring competition and one lucky winner received an Agir Aware goody bag at the end of the day.

To finish off the day, the Young Famers carried out a butter making demonstration in the Farm House, explaining to visitors the traditional methods of butter making.

The weekend proved to be a success and a great time was had on Family Farm!

Can’t wait for next week!

Éadaoin and Steph