While in Ireland, my tour group got the chance to go through an authentic Irish dairy farm, complete with cows, a dog, and a feisty old man.
Any drive through Ireland is a drive through the country! Rolling green hills with sheep or cow seem to fill every view for miles and miles. The dirt road leading to the Molanna Dairy Farm is no different.
The main house is a rather new addition to the farm. Colorful flowers and the family dog greet us warmly as we walk up the drive. Like most Irish homes, the façade is covered in stucco and thick-paned windows.
Inside the main house is like traveling back in time. The place is filled with antique furniture, richly decorated carpet, and a couch that has seen its fair share of sitting. Irish lace doilies can be seen on just about every stick of furniture. A traditional handicraft for which the Irish are known, I could not imagine any home in Ireland without it!
The owner took us outside for a tour of his working farm. Taking care of cows, means taking care of the land. Storage sheds and a rusted out tractor connect to a barn full of cows.
True to rural roots, a clothesline is preferred over a dryer.
While touring the grounds, it’s easy to hear the pride in our guide’s voice. The farm has a multi-generational history. Through one of the gates, the original farmhouse still stands. Both the farmer and his father before him were born in this house.
The old house was built before the luxury of electricity, which was haphazardly added on when it became available (and affordable). I find it rather charming. Old buildings aren’t just torn down in Europe. They are treasured and kept in place for as long as possible.
He took us inside and regaled us with stories of his childhood and even dropped a few lines of poetry. Every word was laced with trademark Irish humor. Even though we all sat as strangers in his childhood home, he treated us as if we had gathered for a family reunion. That kind of warmth and welcoming sits at the heart of Irish culture.
Where the green of the hills meets the blue sky, a friend waits to give the next warm welcome.
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