In this video, yours truly makes it 37 consecutive years with at least one day out Harvest Spotting. Here, the Castlefarm Partnership tackle a massive crop of wheat adjacent to Dunboyne Railway Station.
Three generations of the Clarke family hard at it with a Claas Lexion 760TT, a Fendt 720, a Fendt 718, a Massey Ferguson 7618 with Broughan and Redrock trailers. The latter point is, in a way, the wheels of time turning right before my eyes.
The photo at the end of this piece was taken in circa 1984 when the young fella in the white shirt was the same age as Pat’s grandson is now. I feel old but grateful the connection is still as strong as it ever was. May it forever be so.
1985 is the first harvest I can properly recall – yes I was only four – but can still remember it. As anybody with any ounce of farming in them will. It was an utterly horrendous harvest season, but, as they always do, the farmers dug in and helped each get it done.
Blessedly, Harvest ’22 couldn’t be any further removed from that, wheat coming in a 12.5% moisture and straw so dry it could, nay, had to be baled immediately after the combine before it broke up, or worse happened to it, again.
Dunboyne has changed a lot since those simple days of 37 years ago. For the better? I’m not so sure. Thankfully, the community spirit and old traditions live on and, God willing, always will. You wonder do some folk realise they would go hungry and thirsty if they didn’t!