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RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 1

The first programme faces the recession head on, looking for inspiration from farm families who faced failure in the last downturn, but battled through to make successes of their farms or enterprises.

How Ballymaloe began
Darragh McCullagh talks exclusively to Ballymaloe’s Darina Allen about the difficulties she faced in her past - the time when the family farm was nearly crippled, as Darina reveals how they came back from the brink of failure in the 80’s toturn their business into the success that it is today. Darragh also speaks to Myrtle Allen and Joe Cronin, a farmer who came to the farm in 1951 and is still working there.

The secret to farming success
Ella McSweeney will catch up with Clare dairy farmer Liam Meehan from Newmarket on Fergus, who first featured on Ear to the Ground in 1994, as he was struggling to keep the farm alive and provide for his young children. As all four children are now farming and growing rural businesses in the area, Ella will find out the secret to their success.

Turning a farmyard into a schoolyard
Helen Carroll meets Pam Drennan from Kilkenny. When she was made redundant in 2000, Pam came up with an innovative way to make money, transforming her farmyard, in the local area of Skeoughvosteen, into a Montessori school where children are inspired to interact with the animals, and learn all about the farm.

Contacts:
Ballymaloe Cookery School
Shanagarry
Co. Cork
Phone: 021 4646785
Website: www.cookingisfun.ie/

Appletree Farm Montessori
Grove House
Skeoughvosteen
Co. Kilkenny
Phone: 059 9775185

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