of Kilmanaheen, Kilasbuglenane, Kilmacreehy, Kileilagh and Kilmoon
IX. Modes of
Agriculture, Crops, &c.
The modes of agriculture, are in general very slovenly; the potatoes are
spread on a ridge, as they call it, over the manure, and then covered
with earth, from a furrow at each side of this ridge. After two or three
crops of potatoes, they sow oats, sometimes with the spade, and sometimes
with the plough. There is not much wheat or barley in the union. They
find the oats more productive, and they always have a good market for
it in Ennis, distant from Ennistymon about 14 miles.
The population of the country is increasing so much, that a vast quantity
of hills and mountains is reclaimed every year, and produces by burning
the surface, one or two crops of potatoes and the like of oats; it is
then manured in the best manner they can, and if they continue to lay
on a different quantity of manure, it will yield many crops of potatoes
and oats, when they let it out with grass seeds, which they are of late
getting into the habit of doing, the quality of it is improved and the
pasture of it more valuable.
They make a constant practise here of turning up the surface of the ground
which is in general coarse, and burning it. The ashes of this are so strongly
impregnated with salts, that it answers remarkably well for one or two
crops of potatoes, and for one or two crops of oats. For every succeeding
crop they collect all the manure they can, particularly from the sea,
and from their cattle, which they have in general housed in the winter.
The ground by this arrangement is considerably ameliorated; and when laid
down, the last crop with hay seeds and clover, as before-mentioned, frequently
answers for meadow.
The horned cattle are dwindling every day: the best maiden heifers are
bought by the graziers and sold at 3 or 4 years old at Ballinasloe, the
7th of May. Many heifers of this description are frequently exported to
England; by this means they have only the culls for breed.
The highest acreable rent, of the best, the middling, and the poorest
land in the union, supposing it to be set within the 3 last years, is
from £.3 10s. to £.1 per acre.
There is a market at Ennistymon every Saturday, where a vast quantity
of coarse yarn stockings from sixteen pence to two shillings per pair,
and a great number of pigs are regularly bought, which brings the principal
revenue into the country. There are two well established fairs, mostly
for horned cattle, at Ennistymon, one on the 15th of May, the other the
22nd of August. There are also some sheep at those fairs; those from the
coldstone ground, in general, very indifferent; those from the limestone
ground, good. There are also pigs, and a few horses of different kinds,
but not near so good, as we formerly had them.
to Union of Kilmanaheen, Kilasbuglenane, Kilmacreehy, Kileilagh and Kilmoon