One of the first trips I took whilst in Ireland was to Causey Farm, a quaint little Irish farm known for it's variety of animals, bread baking, and purely Celtic landscape. The IES Abroad students took a lovely bus ride in the countryside and before we knew it, we were in the midst of a perfect, traditionally cloudy day.
The first thing we encountered getting off the charter were two dogs, snooping around the muddy roads; a couple of curious creatures. We learned that the dogs were used to herd the sheep on the farm and that there were about 2 or 3 others on the farm (and they all had very distinct personalities). We gave them a little pet, but were then greeted by a smelly, but altogether funny, encounter of some hogs in a giant hog pen nearby. A lot of people ended up taking selfies with the hogs and it seemed like the pigs always knew where to look when photos were being taken. Even hogs can know their "good side".
After arriving, we all gathered in a small cottage to bake some traditional Irish brown bread. The ingredients were simple: a little flour here, a little yeast there. Though the recipe was simple, it was really important to get the measurements of the ingredients right. I think that was the trick to making the perfect loaf of bread that wasn't too crumby, but wasn't too firm!
Soon after, we got right outside into the elements (it was on and off raining all day) and started visiting the farm's many animal inhabitants. There were chickens, horses, donkeys, rabbits, and a giant pig (even more giant than the one's seen earlier) named... Bessie? I think? Whatever her name was, she was absolutely adorable. You could tell Bessie had seen some years. She was an old, strong lady pig who liked eating just about any corn meal we gave to her. She, too, knew her good angles when taking photos.
All the activities we did that day were very rooted in Irish culture. We gathered in an old barn to learn how to Irish dance and play Celtic drums to the beat of the music. Though there were many feet stepped on and some confusion to what rhythm we needed to tap our feet too, it was all in good fun. It was one of my favorite moments of the trip because I felt like we all were just letting go and giving into what the Irish culture was all about. Lots of history and LOTS of good "craic" (which means "fun).
Not only did was dance, but we also took a little journey through a random Fun House of Mirrors that they use for the Halloween time at the farm. It was really disorienting and hilarious. I ended up scaring myself at the sight of my own face and couldn't stop laughing for at least 20 minutes. These are definitely the times I will remember most; these little moments that stick with you from your new experiences and memories. We also ended up taking little caravan-style trucks to a bog nearby to go bog jumping! I ended up watching from the sidelines because it was rather cold and wet that day (I also didn't have clothes to ruin since I had just gotten to Dublin a week or so earlier). It was really fun seeing everything make their adventurous leaps and bounds in the spongey peet, struggling through laughter to make their way across the strange terrain. There is really nothing like a bog. It really is very uniquely Irish.
Causey Farms was such a pleasant little place and really got me thinking about Irish culture as a whole, very early on. Little did I know that there was so much more to be seen and I had only delved into a small bit of what the country had to offer!
My friend Miranda and the Giant Hog that was seen upon arrival! I could've sweared that hog was smiling at the camera every time someone tried to take a picture with it.
One of the sheep dogs we met at the front of Causey Farms. She had such sweet eyes! I think her name was Rosie. She was also, if I recall, the best at her job of keeping the sheep in a nice, organized herd.
A fellow IES Abroad friend, Megan, having a laugh while baking her loaf of bread in the Welcome Center.
This was another dog at the farm. I don't think she herded sheep, but I think her name was Lila (or Leela) and really enjoyed bell rubs and sleep. So cute!
This donkey was absolutely adorable and love getting nice little pets on his little nose. I don't know his name, but he seemed pretty content on that cloudy Causey day.
Another pig that was spotted around the farm. He was camera ready. I don't know what was going on, but Causey Farm had a lot of really camera ready pigs?
My friend, Reilly, cuddling up to a chicken in the chicken coop. I'm pretty sure she's a chicken whisperer. That chicken was so calm when she was holding him.
Okay, so this was Bessie, the HUGE hog that we met later on. She'll only take pictures if there's food on the ledge for her. She was massive. I've honestly never seen a pig that huge in my life.
A glimpse of the Mirror Maze. It was very confusing and probably the best Mirror Maze I'd ever been to (due to the sheer fact I got scared by my own reflection).
Me, stepping to the beat of my own oversized, Celtic drum!
The view of the sidelines of the bog jumping. Just waiting to see how the jump goes...
The Bog Jumpers. Ready. Set...
Elena and Reilly caught mid-Causey Farm tour. We were looking at cows at that point and some people even got to milk them!
And... how could I end this article without... more pigs! They were literally everywhere. The stars of the Causey Farm show.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Hello all! My name is Francesca Mouery, but a lot of people call me 'Franny'. I am a rising Junior at Denison University, which is located in a quaint, historic town called Granville, OH. Though I go to school in a very Midwestern area, known for it's farmland and pleasantly cloudy days, I am originally from sunny Orlando, FL. Now, I am ready to journey on my next adventure to Dublin, Ireland to seek out an amazing education in conservatory-style performance and theatre making.</p>