Week 4 , starting the hardest harvest

Hi everyone & welcome to our weekly blog. This week I decided to share some of what was involved in doing The Hardest Harvest & also some detail of the hectic year we had in 2017.

So the process started in early June just after myself & Pete won the Zurich Independent farmer of the year. Pete got a phone call from a TV producer saying they were interested in making a documentary & would I be interested so he gave them my number. A few phone calls later & a meeting was arranged on farm with Brian Gray . Funnily enough the day he visited we were at silage so he got stuck covering the silage pit, what a lovely experience for him. Anyway an afternoons interview plus a little casting video & Brian headed of back to Dublin to discuss everything with RTE.

The powers that be must have been slightly impressed in RTE as in late July a crew were sent down for a day to do a full casting shoot. It was a fun day, interviews for us all, loads of filming during milking & around the farm. All that footage had to be edited and re presented to RTE.

The summer was hectic, having all those meetings going on while still keeping the farm going & also organising an openday for charity. We got the openday sorted with great crowds attending along with heads of all the companies involved & also Minister Michael Creed, MEP Sean Kelly & EU Vice President Mairead McGuinness. It was a fantastic day & we managed to raise €15000 for Aware & Breast Cancer Ireland, 2 great worthy charities.


Late August arrived & we got a call from Brian Gray, I was picked, how soon could I get to Dublin to start health screening & vacinations. My mind was running overdrive, originally the plan was that I was going to Mozambique to a farming community but on the first trip to Dublin in early September for vacinations I was told it was now Kenya which I was heading for & they were organising a farming community there. The health consultant really was super & gave me great advice while also ensuring was health was prioritised from start to finish. 3 more visits to Dublin for vacinations, in fairness Pete came with me most of the time so we could share the process.

September & October were caotic , we also had 2 days of interviews at the National Ploughing Championships aswell as the West Cork Farmer of the Year awards where we were runner up in the Dairy Farmer section. We also had The National Dairy Show where the girls were showing Jersey calves .

Ear To The Ground rang in  late October to say they would like to do a days filming at start of November. That was a load of fun , Darragh McCullagh is now a good friend of ours & the whole crew were great craic. No sooner were they finished filming when The Hardest Harvest Crew arrived, 3 days filming on farm aswell as arranging travel dates etc. The presidential elections were on in Kenya at the time so tensions were running high over there & it was hard to plan travelling.

So that takes us up to the actual start of documentary filming. 2017 was hectic, myself & Pete were starting to feel tired, all the running around had taken its toll. Ill do another blog in the near future detailing the documentary filming , what it was like leaving home, travelling & some amazing stories from Kenya. Thanks for reading & hopefully you will check in next week when we catch up with the Maasai community again.

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