the plans now for the small farmer to survive
is to go into organic farming, because they seem
to get a more premium (price) for their produce,
but there is going to be a lot of drawbacks with
it because of the fertiliser and because we're
on the hill with the poor land. We do need something
to boost the grass and if we have to use some
sort of an additional feed then we're going to
have to make sure that, that feed is coming from
an organic farm too, which is going to maybe add
to the cost. So there is a lot of problems to
be faced to go into the organic thing, but I mean
in the long term it probably might be worth it."
me about how wrack (seaweed) was used in the
past and how you'd like to use it?"
years ago the wrack was cut and was taken and
drawn in. It was mostly then for the potato
growing. It was spread in the alleys of the
drills and the potatoes were planted on it.
It did give a lot of minerals into the soil.
One basic would have been salt and iron and
all the different minerals were used. So we
hopefully think of starting again to spread
it over the grass. That might add some nutrients
to the grass rather than the fertilisers, the
oil based fertilisers that we would normally
you like to be able to farm full-time?"
I would like to be farming full-time, but with
the pattern of farming in the Mournes, they
were always small, on average about 10 acres,
and you would have to accumulate now a lot of
land to be fit to survive full-time. Farming
for the majority of farms was always mixed and
there was some sheep, cattle, potatoes, corn,
different things, but now most of the people
are going, with the small farms that they have,
they're limiting what they're doing; some strictly
beef, some sheep, maybe some diary, so it's
very hard to cover the full range. I think mostly
everyone's going for a grass based thing now
for there's less work with it and because of
wages being so high, it's very hard to get people,
I suppose to work now on the farms."