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Good life Ella aims to rear her own pork on the hoof

RTE presenter Ella McSweeney has decided to follow Gordon Ramsay and rear her own pigs for food.

The brunette broadcaster, who is currently enjoying her run as host of agricultural show Ear To The Ground, has revealed to the Herald that she will be taking her eco-friendly lifestyle to the next level and plans on rearing her own pigs and cooking them.

However, unlike the celebrity chef who famously wept as he watched several of his pigs slaughtered for food on his 2006 show The F Word, McSweeney (32) is already preparing for how "yummy" she thinks her homemade pork products will be.

"I'm getting two pigs next weekend, I've always wanted to get some and now I'm taking the plunge," she told the Herald.

"I'm actually going to be building them their own little house today. You'd be surprised that they're actually very clean animals, I'm just giving them somewhere to sleep and relax.

"I'm going to fatten them up, then I plan on killing and curing the meat in July or August. I'm very hands on."

But the pigs are just one of the many animals this new mother provides a home for on her farm -- she has previously told that she enjoys keeping hens to provide eggs for breakfast.

"I already keep hens, and we had ducks for about 12 years. Duck eggs can be quite heavy and good for baking, but hen's eggs are great for a late breakfast.

The Blackrock native says that although she was born and raised in Dublin, she has always had a fixation with nature and hopes to eventually move out of the capital to set up her own large farm.

"While I'm living in the city, I still want to tip away at what I love doing and think about the long term. And being surrounded by animals is in my long-term plan.

"Even when I was growing up, I spent a lot of time in the country with my family, I was always very outdoorsy.

"We had good friends with a farm in Wicklow so it just kind of escalated from there. I love being out in the country now, and I'm very lucky to be in a job that allows me to do both.

"There are no lines between my work and personal life, it's all a blend. I'm so blessed to be in a job that I love doing," she said.

Ella also hopes to travel to the US this summer in a bid to learn more about farming methods there.

"To be honest, I'm not 100pc sure of what I'd like to do. Ideally, it would be a month-long trip. I'm particularly interested in learning more about community supported agriculture," she said.

cmcbride@herald.ie


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