Tonight’s episode of Ear to the Ground features two Syrian farmers who work on a beef organic enterprise, a sheep farmer who has started lambing his 300-ewe flock and farmers who are undertaking a nutrition and exercise programme.
After eight years of civil war, Syria has been devastated. Over half of its 20 million people have been displaced, and millions have fled to refugee camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Two thousand of those refugees have moved to Ireland, including farmers Abdul and Faisal.
They and their families live in Claremorris in Co Mayo, where they are re-connecting with their roots on Oliver and Anna Dixon’s organic beef farm; one day a week, Abdul and Faisal help out on the enterprise.
LAMBING and WOOL
Helen Carroll visits Saddle Hill Farm just outside Inistioge in Co. Kilkenny at the start of a busy lambing season.
James Murphy will be lambing over 300 ewes over the next couple of months but, while prices are strong for the meat that this year’s crop of lambs will produce, unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the wool on their backs.
As well as enjoying seeing healthy lambs being born, Helen will be asking why are wool prices so poor.
On the face of it, farmers should be among the healthiest of people. After all, they have an active job, they work outdoors and grow healthy food. But many farmers also have full-time jobs, leaving them little time for a healthy work-life balance.
Laura Tully is a nurse who noticed her farmer neighbours were not as fit as they should be so she designed a tailor-made fitness programme to get them on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
Cattle farmer - Martin Greene - now runs 7km twice-a-week and has lost two stone since enrolling in the programme last year.
Sheep and Cattle farmer - Michael Glennon - has joined in the class too and is hoping the strength exercises will reduce his backache during the busy lambing season.
Darragh McCullough joins the class in Moore, Co Roscommon where 25 local farmers are starting their exercise and nutrition programme.
Ear to the Ground – produced by indiepics for RTÉ - broadcasts on RTÉ One, Thursdays at 7pm and is repeated at 13.10pm on Sundays.
Image source: TVPR.