Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Myrtleville Seaside Orchard

We took a short bus from the farmers market to the city of Cork and then lugged all our bags 2 miles to the train station where our second farm's owner, Mark, picked us up. His house was a 25 acre house that was cut up into allotments, which are spaces of farm land that can be rented out to people for a small fee. 
 This is a trend that is becoming increasingly popular during the recession. The farm use to be run by the mom, but after her passing six years ago the place hadn't been touched. The place was in complete disrepair.  When we arrived Mark informed us that we would not be sleeping in the house, but rather in the barn that was renovated into a luxury apartment. 
Even Mark was jealous of the living arrangement, he seemed like he would have been happy to switch us for the house. No deal. Work arrangement was lax in comparison to our previous farm. We took to undoing six years of farm neglect. This included fighting through thorn woven brambles and braving thick patches of stinging nettle. During our breaks Katy and I would pick through the sea side orchard and rummage through the gardens for our salads. 
A short walk from the farm would bring us to Ireland's most southern coast. Rocks stuck out like razor blades amongst an angry surf, as the mist from the sea kept alive outbreaks of green, orange, and purple algae. On one weekend Katy and I went to a Folk Festival, which consisted of two tents, one where a 10 yr. old girl sold her most prized possessions with a frown and another where a man stood alone with his guitar and an entranced boy.
We decided to walk along the coast from the festival back. This proved to be more time consuming and challenging than we thought. The serrated edged of the coast made for a grueling trek. Along the way we found abandoned buildings, families fishing, huge scraps of metal, and incredible scenery. 

We abandoned the coast line for higher ground and ran right into an abandoned church that was overgrown with vegetation and had a graveyard that was littered with statued tombstones. 

There was another "woofer" who stayed with us, Natalie from Kaui, a true American hippy. She was made famous with her luxurious armpit hair and seemed to flaunt it in everyones faces. Different folk different stroke. She was an artist whose best friend was Bethany Hamilton, the girl surfer who had her arm bit off by a tiger shark in Hawaii and her Mom was the creator/owner of redline wetsuits. She was infatuated with mermaids and had even toted her harp with her, which she played every morning. She ended her stay by giving Katy some dresses, Katy politely refused due to the immense size of the pit stains. 
The orchard also kept two horses and a fat pony named Jack. 
Unfortunately the six years of farm neglect fell upon the livestock as well as the landscape. Jack was barely mobile due to the state of her hooves being so overgrown that blood vessels now ran thick where her original hoof size should be. 

Mark proved to be an incredible host and nothing more could have been asked. From here Katy and I would have to decide how to spend a week before our next farm.
Here Katy models Wellington's, "Wellies" for short. They're basically Ireland's version of the sandal. They are way off. 

One night Katy and I made Guiness porter cake. 

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of you two I can hardly contain it Keep up the good work and fun. Mern