Galway County Council has granted planning permission to open the farm as a nature park, with a farm café and indoor playground in the barn. The one objecting neighbour now has two weeks to lodge an appeal and this will take Bord Pleanála, in Dublin, 18 weeks to process.
The berries are on the hedgerows; holly, red hops, sloes and blackberries. Hazelnuts are ripe and mushrooms are magically appearing in the mornings.
I love watching out for the surprising pink berries of a lone windswept Spindle tree on the side of the road, shining out against the backdrop of the blue-grey Burren rock.
The calves have gone to the mart. They made the best price ever with the heaviest at 295 kilos making €895. This would be twice what they normally sell for. It seems whilst the rest of the world is investing in gold we are sinking our spare cash into fat cows; wealth marked by the size of your herd, like the nomadic Maasai people in Kenya. Farmers are too scared to put their money in the banks and the prices at the marts have rocketed.
It is the time of year to stable the three year old pony and start his training. He is another half Connemara, a beautiful yellow dun colour with black mane and tail, about 15.2hh. I caught him yesterday to put him in for the winter and he was very obliging, letting me put the bridle with the training bit on without any fuss.
He also let me brush him all over, which I was delighted about as he hasn’t had much handling, and I cut the end off two long dreadlocks in his mane that had tangled into a rope from three years of freedom. I was so excited about his good behaviour I decided to try and get him into the arena to start teaching him to lunge. But on seeing his sister, who started roaring at him with separation anxiety, he jumped out over the 5 bar gate back into the yard and I was lucky to persuade him back into the stable as he eyed up every other gate to get back out the field. I will have to move her and the old horse to the other end of the farm and put up a rail over the gate before we try that again.
I eventually got all the ingredients for the ‘delicious seaweed smoothie.
It looked like something that had been bubbling in a witch’s cauldron for a week; I half expected bats wings and cats eyes to float to the surface. However much I blended, it did not get smooth. Every mouthful had a tiny, fibrous rubbery bits suspended in a silky mucous. I managed to drink a pint, concentrating on all the lovely vitamins and minerals I was imbibing and not the fact that it looked like a pint of green you know what. Sorry Prannie, blame the cook!