A good friend of mine lives in Quin, County Clare. She is establishing a horse stud there. In addition to the almost 20 horses on the land, are the clan of barn cats, the two almost-indoor cats, two great danes, a black lab, and ruling the roost, a Jack Russell named Lucy.
The Aran Islands have been settled and farmed for a long, long time. People gather cockles on the beach, and I was kindly offered some by a stranger.
The soils were at one point so depleted, the people there faced starvation. In order to rebuild their soil, they carried seaweed and sand up from the shore, onto the barren rocky hillsides.
Then they protected their hard-won soil with a stone wall. The island of Inis Mor, nine miles by three miles, has 10,000 miles of stone walls. At least, that is what a bus driver there told me.