Due to COVID-19 a lot of artisans have had to adapt their business model overnight. Old Farm is just one of them. Alfie McCaffrey and Margaret Farrell were running Old Farm as a smallholder B&B in Tipperary. When the COVID-19 restrictions were announced in mid-March, their entire income stream was stopped. They would normally have a house full of paying guests, eating the pork, chicken, lamb and duck, fruit and vegetables that they grow on their smallholding. To supplement the paying guest income they also ran small hands-on bread making courses and pig rearing courses at their home. But they adapted, as they have had to do so before and brought those courses online. I was lucky enough to attend, virtually by Zoom, a bread making course on Sunday morning.

After booking the course, a recipe sheet is sent via email with instructions to have all the ingredients ready for the start of the course. Alfie demonstrates, in great detail, how to make soda bread and griddle bread. As this is an interactive course, participants have the chance to ask questions as they are mixing the dough and preparing the bread, something you can’t do when watching a purely demonstration course. The breads are mixed and cooked in real time and results compared (my effort is in the photo!). There is plenty of time for chat and ask questions and what’s more, it’s fun! I would strongly recommend everyone to do one of these bread making course, its very good value and you get to make two types of bread with a recipe provided for a soda focaccia as well.

Old Farm also have spaces left on their Pig Rearing course. Both courses can be booked here.

Additionally, Margaret knits and sells online the most adorable piggys. Every home should have one.