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Cavan Student Takes Part in Social Farming Across Borders Project

11 June 2014
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Gerard Corry, a student from the Turas Programme in National Learning Network, Cavan recently visited a pilot project in Social Farming on a number of occasions including their Open Day. Gerard got stuck in and got his hands dirty (literally!) alongside the Social Farming participants clearing an area of waste ground at the farm, doing everyday farming activities such as feeding and looking after the animals and the growing and picking of vegetables and flowers. 

In Social Farming, the farm remains a working farm at its core, but invites people to participate in its activities. Betty and Dessie Harrington, the owners of the farm near Killeshandra, Co Cavan, opened the gates of their farm for this project. They place a strong emphasis on the social dimension of the experience, and in particular the great capacity for socialising around the kitchen table. 

Betty said, “Everyone praised the ‘home away from home atmosphere’ especially the homemade bread and the home cooked dinners! There was also a lot of excitement among the participants when they saw a baby foal find its feet soon after it was born. But it’s not just the people who join the project who have been given new experiences, but also us farmers and our families. We have learned an awful lot from our participants”. 

Gerard, who is originally from a farming background, said he “enjoyed every minute” of his visits to the project.  He was delighted to be back working outdoors and in the fresh air and he said the working day passed by quickly ‘having the craic’ with the participants.

It is hoped that other NLN Cavan students will be able to avail of similar opportunities or take part in other schemes in the future.