farming

Kanturk Show

Kanturk Show

 Tim and Aine Broderick of Freemount with the Ballyclough and Murphy cups which their Friesian cow won at Kanturk Show.

Freemount 1821

In 1821 the abstract of answers and returns under the Population act of Ireland 1821 was published and provided some observations on Freemount at that time. In Knocktemple Parish is the village of Freemount containing 19 homes and 113 inhabitants this was an average of six people living in each home in the village. In 1821 Knocktemple was made up of 334 inhabited houses, two
Uninhabited houses and 335 families. The population of 1,982 was made up of 984 males and 998 females.
Under the heading Occupations there were 685 people of these 338 were chiefly employed in agriculture, 48 were employed in trades or handcrafts while 135 people were employed in occupations other than these two.
Education would seem to have been thriving with 85 males and 60 females making a total of 143 pupils attending school in Knocktemple.
 

Farming

Farming has for centuries been an integral part of life in Freemount. Dairy farming is, and always has been very important in the locality and one of the first creameries in the country was established here in 1890. Before the Famine, farming in an area like Freemount would have been very mixed. The average small farmer would have had a small number of cows and grew mainly oats and wheat. Farm houses varied in size depending on the circumstance of the occupiers. At harvest time the wheat was cut by hand with a hook and was stacked in bound sheaves for threshing. Threshing was process of beating cereal crops to extract the grains or seeds from the straw. Threshing machines would be used each harvest season, requiring teams of workers to operate. The wheat was then taken to the local Coolbane mils where it was made into flour. In the early 20th Century, farming in the area changed mostly to dairy. The butter industry in Cork was thriving at this time and due to depopulation, small holdings were bought up by larger farmers to make sizeable dairy farms. The rich farmland in the area added to the surge in Dairying through the decades. 

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