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Hi From Australia - Seeking advise


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Paleo_Gardener
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:07 am    Post subject: Hi From Australia - Seeking advise Reply with quote

Hi,
I am planning to retire in Ireland before Christmas 2012.

I am impressed that most country properties have more that half and acre of land which seems ample to grow a few veggies. I have seen a few properties of a few acres with established gardens, poly-tunnels etc which are very attractive to me.
I am interested in buying a country property on the West coast and am seeking advise with regard to growing conditions in terms of; soil, climate, rainfall etc.
I realise that it would be almost impossible to give advise regarding micro-climate issues.
I have been researching various web sites - I am not sure if I am allowed to include links to web sites but here goes - http://www.askaboutireland.ie/learning-zone/primary-students/3rd-+-4th-class/geography/food-and-farming/soils-in-ireland/ A ve.ry basic level site aimed at school children I think but good enough for my needs.
Are there any counties on the West coast that I should specifically target or specifically avoid?
I am planning to erect a poly-tunnel and perhaps a greenhouse too and I know that I could improve the soils for these limited areas of cultivation but I would prefer to buy in an area that is reasonably fertile.
When I arrive we will be heading into Winter so I do not think I will not be able judge how well gardens are doing in various areas. Maybe I am wrong on this count, I am coming from a warmish place where I can grow. something all year round.
I am interested in knowing how close to the coast I can live without suffering any adverse effect from salt carried in the wind.
I do not need to live close to a centre of employment and prefer to find somewhere rural. I do not know if I should avoid Gaeltacht regions as I only speak English.

Heaps of other questions too.

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds

Michael
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Sive
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Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael, I live on the east coast so can't really give you any advice based on personal experience, but I can suggest certain books which may help.

The first person I am suggesting, Klaus Laitenberger, has experience of pretty poor soil in Leitrim:
http://www.milkwoodfarm.com/

Michael Brenock has years of experience and helps us all on this site with his words of wisdom:

http://www.obrien.ie/book874.cfm

Another invaluable author is Joy Larkcom who settled in West Cork, close to the sea winds and is maybe the most influential British writer about growing vegetables.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grow-Your-Own-Vegetables-Larkcom/dp/071121963X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345278236&sr=1-1

Michael Viney is a journalist who writes for the Irish Times and has lived near the sea in Mayo for many years, growing all his own vegetables on an acre.

I hope that starts you on your googling journey.

I'm sure you can find a rainfall map for Ireland too, which will help you choose where to move to !
And as for the Gaeltacht areas, I do not think there is anywhere in the country where people cannot speak English !

Good luck on your journey.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your coming to Ireland and have never been before Welcome.
But are you mad its been raining non stop all summer and will probably continue until November, the country is broke and no prospects of improvement in the near future. Over 200,000 unemployed, anyone I know over 20 is looking to leave, My advice is do more research before you sell up to move here. Aside from that anywhere on the west coast would be beautiful to live if you can afford it, West Galway, Donegal, South cork and anywhere on the sheeps head peninsula is where i would go beautiful scenery and remote but you cant eat scenery..........
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Margo
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We retired to Southern Ireland from UK 3 years ago. We are in the West. We have half an acre which is enough for us. There is nothing between us and Croagh Patrick and Neffern Mountains. On the other side is Westport and the Atlantic (about 30kms). We are up high so experience winds like I've never known. Never had problems with salt in the wind.
When we first came over the locals said we never get snow. Well 2 winters we've had snow and the locals say they never seen it like it before. Also the rain, they also say they have never known a summer like it and some of them are old farmers.
We have had no problem with the language as everybody speaks English. Its just getting used to being laid back and don't rush anything, nobody else does.

We have a polytunnel but not a greenhouse as that wouldn't stand up against the wind. We grow all our own veg and have a flower garden. On the whole we do quite well. Plus we get the peace after escaping the ratrace.
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Her Outdoors
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like Margo,we also moved to the West in late 2006. We bought an old house in 1998 and used it as a holiday home until 2006. We then moved back from the UK and have been renovating over the last few years. We had a blank patch to begin with - a very neglected garden and over the last six years have worked on it creating raised beds for vegetables and landscaped the other side with lawns, shrubs etc..We have a greenhouse - it is well sheltered at the bottom of the hill by the garage & trees. Our house is perched on top of a hill so we do get the full blast of wind. But we love it and would not move from where we are. We grow most of our own vegetables and we grow quite a lot of winter vegetables as well as the usual salads, potatoes, beans & peas in summer. It is a great place to retire to, the pace of life is lovely. We are close to Knock airport so easy for family to vist. We are about an hour from beautiful beaches - Westport, Louisburgh & Achill.

Good luck with your plans.

_________________
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Paleo_Gardener
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the links Siva, have been googling and bookmarking.
It is good to know that English is spoken everywhere. I have a fairly good ear for accents so should be able to cope.

Thanks to Greengage for the "reality check". I am taking early retirement and not looking to work so the employment situation is not a major concern. I am aware that many Irish people are moving overseas, Australia is a popular sunny destination. You are right in that I will not be able to eat the scenery but I am hoping to grow a few vegetables. Regarding the cost of places, it seems to me that Ireland is considerably less costly that Australia. Thanks for your welcome too.

I am so looking forward to the laid back lifestyle that you describe Margo. I am originally from the UK, left there in '74 and returning to Europe 38 years later. I have experienced snow even in Australia when I lived in Tasmania for a while. Good to know that polytunnels are more wind resistant than greenhouses - I would never have guessed. Even if it does rain a lot I am thinking it should be possible to grow a wide variety in raised beds in a polytunnel.

And finally thanks to Her Outdoors - very encouraging comments - being close to Knock airport is something featured in many of the real estate adverts. I am of course looking to buy a car as soon as I arrive and had been thinking of taking it on the ferry to the UK when I visit as I have family in South Wales and other friends in the West and South.

Please feel free to send me a private message if you are into Skype, email, Facebook (which I have just joined because I have been told that a lot of people in Europe tend to use it in preference to email) - any additional inputs and ideas are very welcome at this stage.

Thanks again
Michael
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Sive
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael, Can I ask you why you are thinking of going to the West of Ireland specifically ? Or maybe I am assuming you mean Mayo/Galway/Clare and you may be meaning a wider area. If you have family and friends in Wales/S,W. UK , you will find the ferry routes from Rosslare in Wexford the perfect way to travel. There are airports in Waterford and Cork. West Cork has a very lively and interesting expat community and a very mild climate and lovely towns/villages.
One more question...I'm intrigued by the name you chose "Paleo gardener".... do you follow the Paleo Diet ?
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Margo
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Location: Summerhill Mayo Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We live in Claremorris County Mayo. We are about 45 mins drive from Knock. However the ferries Rosslare and Dublin are about 4 hours drive.
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Paleo_Gardener
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sive and Margo,
By West of Ireland I am trying to indicate the whole of the West coast from Cork up to Sligo. My current preference is for Cork and West Cork at that. I have also seen interesting properties in the other counties on the West coast.
Mayo and Sligo actually have my highest count of suitable properties at the moment.
Yes, Paleo does refer to the diet/lifestyle which I have followed for the last few years losing 25kg in the process and feeling much better for it. It can also be taken simply to mean old - not quite there yet but heading that way inevitably.
Access to the UK is not too critical as I think that I will only be popping over once or twice a year and, being retired, I will be in no rush.
I am looking forward to getting a dog when I am settled. I note that Pet Passports exist in the EU so I can take a dog on the ferry/plane with me.
I am thinking that I will be arriving before the end of September and am hoping to have bought somewhere before Christmas. That is why I have been asking questions on the forum because this autumn/winter period will be not the best time for accessing areas just based on my observations - I think.
Cheers,
Michael
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again.
Before committing to this venture full time why not come for an extended break say six months to a year if it dosent work out youve had a great adventure.
I have met a couple of people who have moved here and for one reason or another it didnt work out.
I live here and am never going to leave, Despite all our woes we live in the best country in the world, Political very stable, No major natural disasters, people are easy going and generally friendly and welcoming, so best of luck bring a bit of sunshine.
Did you ever see the field.......... Laughing
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Margo
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Location: Summerhill Mayo Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage wrote:
Hi again.
Before committing to this venture full time why not come for an extended break say six months to a year if it dosent work out youve had a great adventure.
I have met a couple of people who have moved here and for one reason or another it didnt work out.
I live here and am never going to leave, Despite all our woes we live in the best country in the world, Political very stable, No major natural disasters, people are easy going and generally friendly and welcoming, so best of luck bring a bit of sunshine.
Did you ever see the field.......... Laughing


Thats what we did. We had 4 holidays here before we finally took the plunge. Like you Greengage we have known people that have come over and found if anything its to laid back and not the choice of shopping mania that seems to have taken over especially in UK
Dogs don't have to have passports, only if taken on planes. They can be taken on the ferry. A lot of people leave them in the car, but there is a facility to house them on the car deck as they are not allowed upstairs. We brought our cats over and left them in the car with the window open and you wouldn't have known they'd been on a journey.
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Paleo_Gardener
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Again,
I got the info regarding pet passports http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets/
and http://europa.eu/travel/pets/index_en.htm.
I have not seen "The Field" but have just been reading about it. I promise not to go around punching out any donkeys. I shall try to get a full copy, it is rated very highly on IMDB.

Thanks for your advise regarding coming for a holiday and seeing if I like it so to speak. I came to Australia on holiday and simply stayed.



Cheers,
Michael
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Margo
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Location: Summerhill Mayo Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was told 3 years ago that passports were only needed for planes. Quite a few of our friends take their dog to UK on the ferry and leave them in the car. None of them have got passports. Its the same as holiday makers who come with their animals by ferry they haven't got passports, well the majority that I know anyway. I can't see you having a problem as you say you are getting a dog when you get over here. Its a different kettle of fish if you are bringing a dog or cat from Australia, then the fun starts what with passports, quarantine etc.
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Sive
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael, there has been an interesting series of articles in the Irish Times this summer, as they were inviting readers to nominate " The Best Place to live in Ireland".
It might be fun for you to browse through some of the articles....and yes, the West won, with Westport, Co. Mayo winning the accolade !

http://www.irishtimes.com/topics/best-place/
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Paleo_Gardener
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link Sive, very inspiring.
Regarding the pet passport issue Margo I checked because it is so difficult getting pets into Australia. I think that it is very recent.
Cheers,
Michael
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