Saturday, April 3, 2010

quick update

I left Jagur Organic around March 25. It was a good experience in some ways but I think I was starting to go a bit crazy so it was time to move on. I had a week or so before the next farm so spent a few days in Galway kayaking (I still have my roll!) and ended up going to Dublin for Passover for a second night seder at the reform synagogue there. It was cool to see the Irish Jewish community, and everyone was real friendly and welcoming. I heard the 4 Questions recited in Irish too.
I took a quick trip to Doolin on the West Coast afterwards to hear traditional Irish music and rent a bike to cycle around the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, both amazing places. I also proceeded to lose my camera somewhere between there and here :( so this blog will become considerably less interesting unless I get a new one.
I'm now at a cattle farm in Co. Leitrim. There are about 30 or 40 cows, 18 calves(!) an apple orchard and small garden just starting. I've never worked at a primarily animal farm so its been interesting.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Farm #2: Jagur Organic

I’ve been at a farm near a fishing village called Cleggan in Connemara on the West Coast of Ireland fr the last 2 ½ weeks now. This was the first farm I heard back from when I was planning this trip. It’s been a mixed bag though I've mostly enjoyed it, and is certainly a change from the place in Limerick.There are no other wwoofers and their children have all left hme so it’s just them and me. They only have dial up which is generally off limits to me anyway so it’s a bit isolated; and why this is the first time I’ve been able to update in the past few weeks.

Besides that they are very religious Jehovah’s Witnesses, which I have to say I was not expecting. I generally think of WWOOF and the local/organic food movement in general as being somewhat hippy-ish, but there is also a very religious/conservative component as well which is what I seem to have landed myself in. It's a little awkward.

It’s a gorgeous area though. Connemara is beautiful and their house is right on an inlet of the sea. The weather has been great since I’ve gotten here so I’ve really enjoyed the work I’ve been doing. I am glad though that I’m only staying 3 weeks instead of the 6 weeks I had originally wanted; I think I would start to go crazy soon.

(No pictures because I forgot to put them on my computer but I'll put them up next time)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Back in Ireland

Hello again! I've been gone for awhile since I was back in Tucson for ever four months but I am back on a farm again! In Ireland!
I got here Friday morning and spent the weekend in Galway, then headed down to Ballingarry in Co. Limerick. Even though Ireland never gets warm ever, its winters generally aren't too cold. This year turns out to be an exception to that; a couple months ago it got down to like 5 degrees. The day I got to the farm it was 28 and the woman's car had frozen so a neighbor had to pick me up. We(the other 2 WWOOFers and I) got to spend the rest of that day painting inside, but Tuesday we went outside to attempt to dig up frozen soil and spread manure. Then is snowed!!

It cleared up a good bit later in the week so we were able to harvest willow and help make a willw fence, and it was mostly sunny for the Farmer's Market in Limerick on Saturday:
Harvested willow branches

Edith and Alanna working on a willow house

Making jam for the Saturday market in Limerick. Apple, cinnamon and chili jelly here

Sunday, October 4, 2009

So long for now

Well my farming summer has finally ended; Friday was my last day at Meadowstone and I took the bus and train to DC Saturday. Even though it got cold at the end I'm glad I stayed as long as I did; seeing the beginning of a New England fall was amazing. In a way it would have been nice to stay until the end of the markets, but I do not know how much longer I could have lasted. According to, tomorrow's high for Washington, DC is 72°F. Bethlehem's is 52°F. No thanks.

I'll definitely miss it though; I liked everyone there, I loved the work, being around crops and animals, abundant fresh food. Plus, New England is pretty.

I'm going home to Tucson for a few months, which will be...interesting. I am actually looking forward to it a little, I haven't been there since Christmas, and it will be nice to stop traveling for a while and be somewhere that feels like home (though I am sure that feeling will change once I'm there!). I'll be working for my mamma at Antigone Books during the holiday season. A bit different than farming but still it should be cool.

In the meantime I'm making plans for Ireland in the spring. I heard back from a farm there a couple weeks ago:
Dear Sarah.

We appreciate you planning a wwoof assignment so far in advance. And since you are the first applicant for the next year we gladly accept. You obviously dont mind the cold since you have been already in Donegal. It is a bit milder here in West connemara.We live about 1 1/2 hour away from Galway in Cleggan near Clifden.
They grow soft fruit and herbs and veggies for local restaurants and I think one farmer's market. I am so excited. Hopefully I'll be able to go to more than just one but it is a start.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Actual good article on evolutionary biology and the differences between the sexes:

Girl Brain, Boy Brain?

The two are not the same, but new work shows just how wrong it is to assume that all gender differences are hardwired

Basically the researchers looked at the differences between male and female brains, and conclude that differences between them are more related to one's gender rather than biological sex. Our brains are changed by our experiences, starting from a very young age, and so characteristics which appear to be innate probably aren't.

Really this is nothing terribly groundbreaking or new. But it is good to see this kind of thing in mainstream news sources. I've never understood people's infatuation with the subject; what does it really even matter? It seems like people really want there to be innate differences, and tend to exaggerate anything they find. Maybe this article can help counter that.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Baby chicks #2

Even though we collect eggs twice a day, and check for them in odd places like the pig trailer, one of the layer hens sneakily hid 10 eggs somewhere and managed to sit on them for two weeks without us finding out. As a result we have baby chicks! They are so adorable. She must be one proud mama hen, being the only one with babies.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


This is Bobby, the billy goat, in an old trailer which is his home. It's old but in pretty good shape.

This is the trailer after two weeks of Bobby. Pretty frequently we can hear him butting his head into it, and he's done it so much that the walls have come apart from the floor and half collapsed. It was going to be his winter home, but who knows if it will even last that long? He's pretty even tempered most of the time, (except when he's trying to steal the pigs' food) but he can be fucking crazy.