This Farming Life - July
Jenny Young describes dealing with one of the unwelcome (but essential) hidden costs that challenge all farmers
With all this rain readers might find it difficult to believe that Castlefarm has been suffering water shortages. As a household we are part of a local group water scheme and for the past 2 years, due to water shortages in the area, the water has been rationed more and more frequently. With 90 milking cows to hydrate as well as dry stock and calves we decided that we would have to drill for our own well.
A milking cow drinks on average 30 litres of water a day. A cow will drink less water while it is out on grass which has high moisture content. Over the winter when silage and hay is fed, the cows drink more water. Our cows, which are farmed on a grass based organic system, produce on average 20 litres of milk per day.
Our well was drilled and even though we hit water at 100 feet the water pressure was not strong enough so we had to drill 200 feet deep. In sinking a well, the deeper you have to drill the more you need to pay.
We then had to put in new wider water pipes and bigger drinking troughs to water the cows. We also had to install pumps and build a pump house. All in all a worthwhile week of work, with our contractors tramping through wet, muddy fields in their water proofs. Now the bills have to be paid. Investment in Castlefarm never seems to stop.
Castlefarm Shop is located outside Narraghmore, Athy, Co Kildare and this July will open 10am-6pm on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th. Our fresh July specials are organic Angus beef and organic Gloucester Oldspot pork. Customers are welcome to join us for a farm walk on Saturday 28th July. Old clothes and wellingtons advised whatever the weather.
Castlefarm Shop opens the last Friday and Saturday of each month from 10am until 6pm. To receive our newsletter, news of new products & cooking tips by email please contact Castlefarm Shop, Narraghmore, Athy, Co Kildare, Telephone 087 678 5269, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, log onto www.castlefarmshop.ie or telephone +353 (0)59 863 6948
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