A single of the past hundreds of straw to be delivered from our tillage enterprise this yr introduced me to an spot in east Clare a couple of weeks ago.
On my return journey over the ruggedly lovely Slieve Aughty Mountains, I remembered a guide I study while performing in Australia again in my university student times.
Kings in Grass Castles, an Aussie classic, was published by Mary Durack in 1959 and is about her household who emigrated from this element of the country to Australia around 1849.
They have been modest farmers in close proximity to Scarriff and still left Eire like several other people to seek out out a better lifestyle in New South Wales. The journey took them five months.
Michael, the head of the family members, was killed in an accident soon following they arrived.
His son Patrick took the direct and after performing off the price tag of their tickets for a selection of years as a labour, he made the decision to get associated in the cattle business enterprise.
He started accumulating feral cattle and introduced them to the Gold Coastline in which he saw an opportunity for the significant desire of beef to feed the people today chasing the gold rush in the area.
He went on to get hundreds of hundreds of acres and crafted a extensive cattle empire in Queensland.
Not information with this, he determined to walk a mob of more than 8,000 head of cattle on a 3,000-mile journey to an area of great land in north Western Australia known as the Kimberley area, where by he realised new settlers would want inventory.
It took them 3 years, and they shed half the inventory and a handful of men on the way.
The drovers grew to become regarded as the Overlanders — a film of that name was built about them in 1946.
Just after this the family members turned included in the resort and constructing recreation, and missing their fortune right away and went bankrupt.
Some would see the Duracks’ increase and slide as a story of achievement and entrepreneurship involving a gentleman who, as he stated himself, he “started with significantly less than nothing”.
Other folks see it as a story of greed, of an Irishman’s lust for the land, displacing the natives from their land and pegging it for the new settlers coming from Europe.
What ever facet you get of this sweeping tale, it is a wonderful tale of intrepid adult men and ground-breaking experience.
Patrick’s sons later on revived the business enterprise, turning into some of the biggest land-homeowners in Australia.
The story receives its title from Patrick Durack himself: if a person told him how very well he was performing, he would reply: “If it is kings we are, it is kings in grass castles that can be blown away on with a puff of wind.’’
The reserve is a reminder to us that there ended up generally beef barons in some condition or variety, and how beef played a enormous job in the economies of some nations.
It also underlines how a great deal of the beef industry is just a significant gamble, at a time when so a great deal growth is having put in the agriculture market in this country.
You can not but wonder is the economical acquire reached with extra stock and turnover being offset by the lack of a operate-daily life equilibrium?
Additional time on the farm, but a lot less time for family and close friends, or hobbies.
Especially with the yr that has just handed with a earth-altering celebration, probably it is time to choose inventory of the place our businesses are likely.
Potentially we shouldn’t check out putting our arms around the globe like the Durack household tried to do 150 decades back.
John Joyce farms at Carrigahorig, Nenagh, Co Tipperary