Eamon McDonagh who will be attending Heritage Day in Cloughjordan's eecovillage
Cloughjordan sees the return of its highly popular Farm Heritage Day this Saturday, September 22, with both bovine and equine draft animals in action for the first time.
Big crowds are expected for this special event, which runs from 11am to 4 pm. It will be held on the Cloughjordan Community farm’s land, at the back of the town’s ecovillage.
Harry and Mona Barteling will bring their impressive Percherons over from County Clare to the north Tipperary town. The pair will be put to work on the four-acre potato harvest for the community-owned farm.
And in a new departure for this event, Eamon and Geraldine McDonagh will travel down from Mayo to demonstrate how to work using cattle power on farms. In this case, Eamon will display working with a heifer.
Cloughjordan’s own Pat Malone will also put his own cobs to work.
Expect food stalls, live music and entertainment to accompany the Farm Heritage Day, which also marks the 10th anniversary of the Cloughjordan Community Farm. The Community Farm feeds over 40 families in the region a variety of vegetables and fruits all year round. It is owned and run by community members, and is open to all in the locale to join.
Following the event, the Irish Working Horse Association will hold a meeting. The IWHA focuses on farms working with horses and what they call hybrid farms, which work with farms with tractor back up. “IWHA want to display what the work horse can do, and that's why they are coming” Malone says.
“We are investigating the viability of workhorses on an intensive market garden scale up to 10 or 20 acres” Pat Malone says. "Horses are able to get out on the ground in bad weather, plus there is also a compaction issue with tractors. A tractor wheel leaves a line of compaction, whereas horses hooves break up the soil A challenge is finding work for them every day though.”
Saturday also sees a range of exciting events in Cloughjordan to accompany this heritage event.
The thirdannual Apple Festival - Féile na nÚll - and Community Fair takes place in the ecovillage at Cloughjordan coinciding with the European Day for Sustainable Communities.
The festival will feature a number of talks and workshops that are open to the public, delicious local food and natural product stalls, tours around the ecovillage, its orchards of heritage apples and of the community farm.
Bring your own apples to have them pressed and turned into juice there and then, courtesy of the Night Orchard’s press. The Night Orchard is a local apple juice business, which started with windfall apples, and has grown to now retail in a number of locations around the midlands.
There will also be a fab lab open day, where visitors can learn about the exciting opportunities for local organisations and businesses the high tech low cost “fabrication laboratory” in the Cloughjordan enterprise centre offers.
There will be apple talks, and apple bake contest, guided tours, meditative walks and a range of other activities over the day.