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16 October 2014
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Castledawson Open Farm

Josie McMullen is not a person who likes to be idle. On her retirement from nursing she set up an open farm, where you can now see everything from chipmunks to emus.

Thatched cottage at Castledawson Open Farm

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Iain Carmichael, Stirling - May '06
Congratulations! This seems a great idea and somewhere not to miss. My grandfather was a Bellshill man, and I hope to visit the area this year in order to try to find the ruins of the old cottage, and to try to trace my planter, but celtic, roots. I'll try hard to find the farm!

And here's to peace and reconciliation.

Iain MacGillemeicheil (Carmichael) My great grandmother's maiden name was Finlay, I believe.

Pat - February '05
My g-grandmom was born in Castledawson. Her Father was Dr. John McKowen. They were Presbyterians, I think. They settled in the USA at Liberty, Mississippi located between Natchez, MS and New Orleans, La. I would like to visit your farm and see the countryside.

Margaret Wood, NZ - November '04
It was a treat to re-visit you farm, Josie. It reminded me of the kind hospitality you extended to us when we visited you in 2002. I think of you every time I put my boots on! And I wonder if the Chinchilla is still pregnant? It would be great to get back to see you and your wonderful project again.

Gerry Magee - October 2004
Josie .. your daughter Tara has just pointed me in the direction of the web site and what a fabulous idea. I was born and reared on a farm outside Ballymena; not far from Kells and I know your area pretty well (but obviously not that well!) Indeed I used to go down that direction once a week to an evening auction of "antiques" ..actually owl junk that I would have bought! Well it's a small world and I hasten to add that it's a great pleasure to work along with Tara. She's without doubt, just a great girl as they say in Ballymena and of course bright as a button! I just have to meet "Big" Jonney yet and the icing on the cake will be a visit to your Farm ... God I hope that there will be a cuppa tea in that visit! However, it's sounds like a great place to bring a group of local kids and I fully intend doing that very soon. Meanwhile, I wish you every success and continued good health to enjoy what is clearly a labour of love! My Every Best Wish, Gerry @UUC.

Tara Moore nee McMullen - August 2004
Love the site, looks good.

Lisa Jayne Armstrong - August 2004
This looks like a wonderful place to visit. Glad to see that life does not end when you retire!

Hope Sloan - August 2004
I really enjoyed the article. I'm from Oregon in America and I love reading the BBCI. I hope to someday come to Ireland with my daughter when she graduates in 2006. She is teaching herself Gaelic now and not too bad at it. Our ancestors are from Ireland.

We would love to go see Josie's farm and the animals. The house is just wonderful we love antique's and want to learn more of the history of Ireland.

The animals are so sweet, we are really big on animals we would have lots if we could afford it.

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