'I'm more interested in nourishment than punishment'
Joe Daly, Valentia Island, Co Kerry; farmer and ice cream entrepreneur
Published 04/11/2015 | 02:30
It's getting near the 'down time' of the year on Joe Daly's dairy farm on Valentia Island off the coast of Kerry.
Joe, who also manufactures his own Valentia Island-branded ice creams and yoghurts, says he is tidying up his 150ac holding and the 25ac out-farm.
"We're getting great weather at the moment and we are tipping along nicely. We have just a few jobs left to do around the farm. Cleaning up the place and tending to the cubicles and milk tanks and then we will house the herd," Joe explains.
He milks 70 Holsteins and sends most of his milk to Kerry Group, but keeps back enough raw material for his Valentia Island ice cream enterprise, which supplies upmarket desserts to various hotels and restaurants in the tourist region.
"We will send out a lorry load of the ice cream and yoghurts later this week and then we will revert the business to a two-day week operation until next season.
"I have stopped doing the buttermilk this year because the margins were too tight and the amount of work on the buttermilk did not match the returns," Joe says.
Joe (46) has been working on what he describes as "a grand farm" since he was a teenager.
"When I started you were walking in muck all the time. Now you can walk across the farm in your house shoes. It's a lovely farm. It's neat and tidy and everything is in place."