RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 8

ear to the ground
ear to the ground

Massey Love

Forget the Late Late Toy Show, for farmers, the model farm and tractor show in Portrush is the highlight of the festive season.

In this episode, Darragh visits the farm toy and model show in Portrush where tractor enthusiasts throughout the country come together to buy and sell limited edition model tractors.

Speaking to tractor enthusiasts such as Armagh native Alaister Bell, Darragh discovers what’s on offer in this miniature world, and finds out just what provokes this passion for limited edition mini Masseys and John Deeres?

Is GIY the new DIY?
Helen meets a Grow It Yourself group who are reviving the old Meitheal system and with it, restoring community values. Meitheal describes the old Irish tradition where people in rural communities gathered together on a neighbour’s farm to help save the crops - a way for communities to socialise and share ideas and expertise.

With our economy in a state of turmoil and increasing concerns about the source of our food, people are becoming increasingly interested in growing their own food in their back gardens.  But most have lost the practical expertise, that a generation ago would have been a given.

Helen visits Paul Sweetman, a gardening novice, who has been involved in setting up of the very first Grow Your Own group in Bray. She also speaks to Diarmuid Gavin about the benefits of these groups. Diarmuid explains how we have spent the last few years building hedges around ourselves, isolating ourselves from our neighbours. The GIY movement has the potential to knock down these barriers, allowing people into each others gardens and each others lives.

Chefs say bar needs to raised in Irish pork production
How good is Irish pork? Top chefs have called it bland and tasteless, but consumers suffered withdrawal symptoms when it disappeared from the shelves last December.

Is it possible to produce tasty pigmeat at a profit? Ella McSweeney visits two farmers with two very different approaches to see if there is a future for Irish pork.

Pat O Flaherty is a Kildare pig farmer who is determined to give his pigs a better quality of life. He is building a new pighouse that gives his pigs more room and access to fresh air. He is hoping that a better quality of life will mean a better tasting pig and a better price from the market.

Grow It Yourself
Contact details for each Grow It Yourself group are available at: