When Deirdre Murtagh of Causey Farm speaks of the business she co-founded with her two siblings â€“ which allows various groups to get a taste of life on their family farm in Co Meath â€“ you get a real sense of the passion she has for it.
Causey Farm first opened up in 1998 to give school tours an experience of farm life, and has expanded to include hen nights, tourist groups and corporate team-building events, participants of which are invited to take part in activities such as milking cows, baking bread and set dancing. At peak times the farm employs up to 40 people, and Murtagh has also set up a wholesale bakery on-site as an off-shoot to the main business.
While there are aspects of the business she finds challenging (paperwork being one of them), Murtagh says having her own business affords her a lifestyle, diversity and flexibility which she feels she would not have in a typical nine-to-five job.
â€œBusiness is a way to earn a living, implement a lifestyle â€“ and Causey Farm gives me wonderful flexibility as a mother. I am available for school runs and activities. Simple things like organising paperwork for a new passport or a visit to the bank just fit into my normal day, rather than being a lunchtime dash.â€
Would tours bring new life and income into your own farm?
Photo by Alex Proimos