Farm Ireland

Sunday 18 March 2018

Revealing the highs and lows of living and working the land

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Book vouchers are always a popular Christmas gift so if you're lucky enough to have a gift voucher burning a hole in your pocket, here are some farming-related books that are guaranteed to keep you turning the pages throughout the new year.

'A Year On Our Farm'

Written by Ann and Robin Talbot, this beautiful book documents all the visitors, events, highs and the lows on the Talbot's family farm at Coole, Ballacolla, Co Laois.

Robin is the fourth generation of the Talbot family to run the farm, while his wife Ann is a regular columnist with the Farming Independent.

The book records life at Coole farm during a typical year, illustrated by hundreds of photographs of the farm's livestock, wildlife and the vets, contractors, builders and neighbours who contribute to the running of the holding.

'A Year On Our Farm' is available from Easons nationwide, The Book Centre, High Street, Kilkenny and online from It costs €17.99 plus P&P.

'The Lie Of The Land'

PJ Cunningham's account of a farming childhood on a small Co Offaly farm has been described by Irish Independent reviewer Paddy Smith as "quality nostalgia, not the self-indulgent mawkish stuff that passes for nostalgia these days".

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The book captures the lives, loves, hates, failings and greatness of ordinary people in rural Ireland in the 1960s in 18 true stories from the author's childhood.

It includes tales of religion, superstition and the supernatural, as well as relationships with families, neighbours and visitors. Family feuds, fair days and farming tradition all feature in this trip down memory lane.

'The Lie Of The Land' is available from all good bookshops or online from for €14.99.

'Would You Marry A Farmer?'

Written by Lorna Sixsmith, farming blogger, media consultant and wife of a dairy farmer, 'Would You Marry A Farmer' is a tongue-in-cheek style book full of tips for any lady considering jumping over the brush with a farmer.

The book has lots of advice for farming spouses on how to 'stop a gap', sort cattle for the mart when they are all of an identical size and colour, and how to plan the birth of a baby between calving and lambing seasons.

'Would You Marry A Farmer?' is available to buy from, priced at €15 plus P&P.

Irish Independent