It’s October for the Rare Breed farmers and they are testing for and treating various ailments, as well as making the most of winter vegetables, in the next episode of the hit series on UTV on Tuesday 30th March at 7.30pm.
Near Ballygawley in Tyrone, Des Kelly is keeping a close eye on the condition of his cattle. 2020 has been a challenging year in more ways than one – the weather means an increased risk of pneumonia in the herd. Des points out potential symptoms that some cows display if they are not well. He and farmhand Rodrigo work hard to bring all the cattle into the sheds, and install a new feeder. He comments that the grass isn’t great at this time of year.
Outside Larne, Jonny Hanson and his team have no time to admire the lovely scenery at their farm overlooking Larne lough. They’re busy finishing the year’s vegetable harvest. Jonny is grateful for an army of volunteers who have been putting together weekly veg boxes for customers, a venture he’s hoping to expand on for 2021. His colleague Fern loves winter vegetables, and talks of their ‘hearty charm’, while Jonny talks of his ‘delight’ at eating through the seasons. Nothing goes to waste with vegetables past their primegoing to the pigs.
Near Tempo in Fermanagh it’s a stressful day for dairy farmers Margaret and Andrew Little. Their herd has its dreaded TB test, which take place every six months.There’s a lot of preparation goes into getting the cows ready to be tested, as well as much work and record keeping on the day itself. Andrew points out that ‘you lose the whole day’, with the other farm work having to be done as well but laments, “What do you do?” He’s hopeful that TB will be soon be a thing of the past.
In Saintfield in Down, it’s a very early start for Emily McGowan – it’s the weekly town market, and this is just the second week that the farm shop has taken a stall. Everything gets prepared on a Friday night for the market, with lots of toffee apples and pumpkins making up a colourful display. Emily also points out that they’ve grown potatoes for the first time in 10 years and they are selling well. She’s glad that local people are appreciatinglocal produce and local businesses in general since lockdown. As well as the market activity, they also open the shop early on a Saturday morning to cope with demand.
As the month draws to a close, Clare Shearer and partner Davy Kinkead have taken young mare, Ellie May to Lisburn for some specialist spa therapy. The mare has hurt her leg and Clare hopes the treatment will speed recovery. Claire is delighted that she’s coped with the water treadmill and the cold water spa, which after a week’s treatment seems to have worked well, with the swelling in her leg much reduced. Clare is looking forward to getting her home to continue her treatment on a once a week basis.
UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series. Sponsored by Moy Park, Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Tuesday 30th March at 7.30pm on UTV.