So two years work comes to fruition in the publication of our book A Year on our Farm, written by my husband Robin Talbot and myself Ann Talbot, who are pictured here with Damien O’Reilly of RTE 1 at the launch on our farm on September 9.
I think it was a fabulous night. I know that I am biased but that has also been the overwhelming response from the massive crowd who turned up, between 500 and 600 people. In the days running up to the launch Ii had been trying to keep caterer Shelagh Maher updated on numbers but on one occasion she just texted me “don’t worry Ann we will feed them all.” And she did, with an array of delicious sandwiches and buns. Apparently they baked 720 buns and less than 20 were left. We had also bought two boxes of Tayto crisps (each with 60 bags) and they were all eaten bar 2!
We have received many phonecalls and emails in the since from those who were here and (so far) everyone has been so positive, about the launch and the book. I know that people might be less likely to contact us with something negative to say .. but they don’t have to contact us at all, yet many have.
Publisher John McNamee said beforehand that if we sold close to 100 books it would be a “win”; in the event, we sold over 240.
We were so lucky with the weather; it turned out to be what looks to have been the last evening of the summer. The very next evening, Robin suggested that it would soon be time to think of lighting the fire.
I have never been involved in anything like this before. The closest was our wedding but that went on for much of the day while, this time, people starting arriving after 6pm and everyone was gone shortly after ten. So it was a total whirlwind. MC for the evening was John Finlay, a local farmer but much more who had spent at least an hour talking to me that morning in order to prepare himself … and he did a fabulous job, as did the speakers Michael Bergin of Laois Partnership, John McNamee, Robin and Damien O’ Reilly. I also spoke too but eventhough I had everything scripted am just not very good at it. Though I did manage a laugh or two.
Overall the tone was very positive and I really felt that Damien got what we were trying too do, to write a book which would give some recognition to farmers for the fantastic and important job that they do but which was also accessible to general consumers and would give them some insight into where their food comes from, what really happens on a farm in the early 21st century. It is, as far as I know, the first book of its kind, a book about a commercial farm written from the insiders view.
So now the book is out there and will hopefully take flight. We will be doing an interview with Damien for his Countrywide programme on September 21; then its on to The Ploughing.