Cead Mile Failte !

A 'hundred thousand welcomes' to friends of all things Irish, organic, and environmentally friendly. I hope you enjoy my anecdotes and little vignettes. I appreciate comments. If you like it, why not become a follower? Click on Archive and then scroll down to the very bottom for the beginning of our story. Or see: http://Ioncehadafarminireland.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 25, 2009

Location, Location, Location

As any realtor will tell you, this is not a troll’s truism regardless of what type of property you are looking for. Searching for a suitable piece of land, our choice was influenced by a couple of criteria. For my Ex, the soon to be farmer, it was the quality of the land. For me it was the accessibility. Obviously farms are in rural areas and this city girl wanted to be within a reasonable driving distance of a city, schools, and airport, not totally in the sticks. For the farmer, it had to be good arable land which is considered to be suitable for any type of farming whatever you go into. We were looking for more than the aforementioned 5 acres, which according to the Seymour-Bible, were enough to sustain a family.
Soil conditions in Ireland vary considerably. The midlands have the richest, most fertile conditions. This is the region to grow grains, an indicator for its quality. Farm prices reflected this fact. The further north you go (Clare, Galway, Sligo, or westwards towards Kerry) the land becomes stonier and less suitable for multipurpose agriculture. While the countryside is beautiful with its dry stone walls, i.e. without mortar, the ground becomes stonier too. The walls, by the way, were erected by laborers in previous centuries that picked up the stones from the fields. They stacked them up into walls that created fences and boundaries around fields. Labor was cheap in those days.
We traveled pretty much all over the country, starting off on the East coast in Dublin. Heading west, the rolling countryside of Co. Kildare, home to stud farms, was very lush but unaffordable. Farm value is calculated per acre. If there is a house on it, it’s thrown into the bargain. So it was an extra bonus if the house was livable or even in move-in condition.

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