Ireland’s only farm-based whiskey distillery, a family-run abattoir in Co. Meath and the challenges and opportunities that forestry presents for farmers will be the core focus of tonight’s episode of Ear to the Ground.
There were once hundreds of abattoirs across Ireland, but competition from larger establishments has dwindled the number of rural businesses and now only a handful remain.
Ella Mc Sweeney visits Oldcastle in Co. Meath where Declan Flood and his family run a thriving butcher business and abattoir.
Declan provides an alternative route to market for farmers who use his services.
Ballykeefe farm is a 150-acre beef and tillage enterprise run by Morgan Ging and his family near Cuffesgrange in Co. Kilkenny.
It is also home to Ireland’s only farm-based whiskey distillery, producing spirit from the barley that is grown on the land.
Helen Carroll visited the farm when Morgan was busy harvesting this year’s crop and learned first-hand how to turn barley into whiskey.
Ireland has the lowest forest cover of any country in Europe with just 11% of land area under trees.
As one tree captures one tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, it’s clear that forests have the potential to solve Ireland’s climate change challenge.
John Sherlock, a Co. Meath farmer and chair of the North East Forestry Group, has planted his land and runs a thriving firewood business.
Darragh McCullough visits Sherlock’s woodland and finds out some of the challenges and opportunities that forestry presents for farmers.
Tune into Ear to the Ground on RTÉ One at 8:30pm tonight (Thursday, December 12th)