Saturday 18 November 2017

Kevin Myers: For generations, my clan slayed seedlings with a Herodian zeal

Pottering about in the garden can have mixed results
Pottering about in the garden can have mixed results

Kevin Myers

IT was quite by accident that I became a farmer. I had decided to move to the country, but not actually to become of it: I wanted to see fields, not mind them.

But when we finally found the place we wanted, it happened to come with a few acres, sufficient in area for the old Congested Districts Board to have defined me as a "smallholder".

So, I naturally took to reading Tuesday's farming supplement with a quite rustic avidity, being now much preoccupied with matters pastoral and arable. Haggardly, I followed maize prices in Kansas, and grew melancholy at the prospects for beet. I learnt to pronounce ewe as yeo, and would pale at the fell concatenation of the words, "winter barley" and "early frost". As to agrarian unrest, I was unsure what position to take: as a landowner, should I defend the rights of property against these brutish Land League upstarts? Or, as an impoverished member of the agricultural classes, should I be out at night, hocking cattle and shooting land-agents with my homemade blunderbuss? Throughout the Celtic Tiger, this was a hypothetical question. But with that forlorn and sodden moggy now dead in a gutter, who knows?

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