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Crofting

Croitearachd

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Subtitles: Gaelic Fo-thiotalan: Gàidhlig Subtitles: English Fo-thiotalan: Beurla Subtitles: none Às aonais fo-thiotalan Download text (Gaelic and English) Faigh an teacsa (Gàidhlig agus Beurla)

Croitearachd

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Agallamh le Gabhan Mac a' Phearsain: Croitearachd

Presenter: Angela NicAoidh (Angela Mackay)

[ANGELA] A' bruidhinn rium a-nise tha Gabhan Mac a' Phearsain a tha na chroitear. Fàilte ort, a Ghabhain.

[GABHAN] Mòran taing. Tha mi toilichte a bhith a seo.

[ANGELA] An innis thu dhomh ciamar a fhuair thu eòlas air obair croitearachd agus obair tuathanais anns a' chiad dol a-mach?

[GABHAN] Bha cousins aig mo mhàthair ann an Ìle agus tha mi a' smaoineachadh gu robh mi a' leughadh mu dheidhinn croitearachd agus nuair a fhuair mi cothrom nuair a bha mi anns an oilthigh bhithinn a' dol gu na cousins a bha seo ann an Ìle, ag obair tron an t-samhradh air an tuathanas aca, agus bha crodh bainne aca agus bha iad a' dèanamh feur nuair a bha mise ann agus bha cuideachd arbhar aca. Mar sin, bha mi a' faighinn eòlas air obair arbhair, a' ceangal sguaban agus gan cur suas ann an adagan agus a' bhliadhna sin, bha iad a' togail cruach aig ceann àrd an achaidh sin, agus mar sin, bha sinn ... 'S e sin an obair traidiseanta.

[ANGELA] Am mìnich thu dhomh dè dìreach a th' ann an croitearachd?

[GABHAN] Uill, croitearachd ... Tha mi cinnteach gur e an aon obair a th' ann. 'S e dòigh a tha air òrdachadh, dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh. Tha ... Tha croitean cha mhòr daonnan ann am baile, baile croitearachd, agus ged a tha a' chroit fhèin aig gach croitear, tha cuideachd am monadh ann, far a bheil ionaltradh ann dha na beathaichean, agus tha sin coitcheann, so tha a h-uile beathach a' dol am measg a chèile am measg na beathaichean eile shuas agus tha còir aig gach croitear a bhith a' cur àireamh shònraichte ... Sin an sumachadh, nach e, an àireamh de bheathaichean a tha cead aca cur air a' mhonadh. Agus an uairsin tha comataidh ionaltraidh a tha a' riaghladh obair a' monaidh.

[ANGELA] Ciamar a tha croitearachd air atharrachadh thairis air na bliadhnaichean fhad 's a tha thu fhèin air a bhith an sàs ann?

[GABHAN] Nuair a dh'fhàg mi an oilthigh, fhuair mi obair air croit aig fear Jimmy Beaton ann an Eilean Ì, agus bha esan gu mòr an sàs ann an caoraich, agus bha a h-uile croitear an uair sin - tha seo a-nise am meadhan na seachdadan - an sàs anns an obair. Bhiodh a h-uile ... Bhiodh crodh agus caoraich aig a h-uile duine, agus agus bha a h-uile ...cha mhòr a h-uile duine a' dèanamh feur. Tha sinn a' faicinn nas lugha 's nas lugha de dhaoine a' dèanamh feur, agus fiu 's a' dèanamh "silage". A' mhòr chuid de chroitearan, dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh an-diugh, tha iad dìreach ri obair chaorach, tha mi a' smaointinn. Bidh crodh aig cuid dhiubh, ach tha daoine buailteach air a bhith a' ceannach a-staigh biadh a' gheamhraidh, ged a tha cuid a' dèanamh sin fhathast, agus tha sinn a' faicinn an dòigh ùr air "silage" a dhèanamh an-diugh. Tha na bèileachan mòra ... Chan fheum thu a bhith a' lìonadh sloc anns an talamh le feur airson "silage" a dhèanamh. Tha na bèileachan agad agus tha e fada nas fhasa a bhith a' biathadh crodh a-nise. Tha thu a' cur bèile mòr "silage" a-mach agus tha e gan cumail a' dol airson beagan làithean.

[ANGELA] Seach nach eil uimhir de dhaoine a-nis an sàs ann an croitearachd sa chleachd, a bheil tòrr dhe na facail agus cleachdaidhean air a dhol à bith?

[GABHAN] Sguaban is adagan is cocanan is cruachan. Chan eil iad sin gan cur am feum andiugh ann. Tha fhios gu bheil faclan co-cheangailte ri beathaichean gan cur am feum fhathast. Tha mi a' smaointinn gu bheil riaghailtean ùra gu bhith a' tighinn a-staigh, agus cha bhi e ceadaichte, beagan bhliadhnaichean bho seo, a bhith a' ceangail beathach ann am bàthach. Bidh aca ri bhith fuasgailte ann an seada mòr, so bidh fiu 's na faclan co-cheangailte ri bàthach a' dol a-mach à bith cuideachd.

[ANGELA] Dè cho furasta 's a tha e a bhith nad chroitear san latha a th' ann?

[GABHAN] Ag obair le bèilichean mòra "silage", tha sin a' dèanamh cùisean nas fhasa do dhaoine. 'S e an aon rud gu feumadh thu uidheaman. Feumaidh tu tractar mòr airson na bèilichean a ghluasad. Tha sinne fhathast ag obair leis an t-seann dòigh. Tha na mairt nan seasamh anns a' bhàthach agus tha sinn a' tilgeil biadh sìos thuca, ach tha dòighean furasta againn. Tha feur ga stòradh shuas os an cionn ann an lobht. Tha sinn ga thilgeil sìos, a' dèanamh feum de "gravity", dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh, agus an uair sin tha an innear ga chruinneachadh ann an seòrsa de tholl no "cellar" aig cùl na beathaichean. Chan eil mòran obair ann a bhith a' cartadh na bàthach, dìreach a sgrìobadh le sluasaid sìos toll. Ma tha thu a' dol a dhèanamh feur mar a tha sinne, tha e gu bhith doirbh leis an tsìde. Tha thu ag iarraidh ' s dòcha suas ri seachdain de shìde mhath, agus chan eil sin daonnan a' tachairt. Leis an obair a th' agam, tha mi dheth beagan sheachdainean tron an t-samhradh agus ma dh'obraicheas cùisean, bidh ùine agam feur a dhèanamh.

[ANGELA] Innis dhomh beagan mu dheidhinn na diofar rudan air an do chuir thu fhèin eòlas bho thòisich thu a-mach.

[GABHAN] Nuair a bha mi ann an Eilean Ì, bha sinn a' dèanamh feur le làimh. Bha e ga ghearradh le "mower" air an tractar, ach an uair sin, bha sinn ag obair le ràcan agus forc, a' cur am feur suas ann an cocanan, no rucan, mar a tha iad ag ràdh ann an Earra-Ghàidheal. Cuideachd, bhiodh am fear sin a' marbhadh caoraich. Fhuair mi eòlas air sin, gearradh suas an fheòil. Tha mi air a bhith ag obair le crodh. Bha mi ag obair air tuathanas ann am Muile, far an robh suas ri leth-cheud crodh-laoigh, so tha mi eòlach air breith laoigh. Bha sinn a' dèanamh "silage" an sin. Air a' chroit againn fhìn, bidh mi a' treabhadh agus tha sinn a' cur sìol airson coirce agus bidh sinn a' cur feur cuideachd. Bidh sinn a' cur tuirneap, ach tha beagan obair an sin, a' tanachadh an tuirneap agus an uair sin gan togail anns an fhoghair. Tha sinn a' cleachdadh a' bhainne againn fhìn, so tha mi a' dol a-mach anns a' mhadainn agus a' bleoghan anns a' bhàthach. Chan eil caoraich againn, ged a tha mi air a bhith ag obair le caoraich, so tha mi eòlach air dupadh agus rùsgadh le làimh. Cha do rinn mi riamh rùsgadh le machine.

[ANGELA] A bheil dad sam bith ann anns a bheil ùidh shònraichte agad fhèin?

[GABHAN] Tha mi a' smaointinn gu bheil ùidh agam anns a h-uile rud còmhla. 'S toil leam an dòigh a tha thu ag obair na talmhainn agus biathadh na beathaichean agus a' dèanamh biadh dhut fhèin às a sin. Tha bainne againn, tha feòil againn, tha buntàta againn bhon chroit. Tha gàrradh mòr againn leis a h-uile seòrsa glasraich: currain agus buntàta 's peasraichean, fiu 's dearcagan, craobh ubhail no dhà ... Tha sinn a' faighinn deagh chuid dhen bhiadh againn bhon a' chroit agus bhon a' ghàrradh.

[ANGELA] A bheil taobh eile air beatha a' chroiteir a-thaobh riaghailtean is eile?

[GABHAN] Bidh oifigearan dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh bhon "Department", mar a tha iad ag ràdh, a' tighinn airson dèanamh cinnteach gu bheil thu a' coilionadh na riaghailtean. Ma tha thu a' gabhail na grantaichean, feumaidh tu cumail ris na riaghailtean. Tha sin ceart.

[ANGELA] Am bu chòir do dhaoine a bhith air am brosnachadh barrachd airson a bhith ris an obair seo mar dòigh beatha?

[GABHAN] Tha gu dearbha, an dà chuid mar dhòigh beatha agus mar rud a tha math dhan eaconamaidh, tha mi a' smaoineachadh. Tha e fada nas ciallaiche a bhith ag ithe biadh a tha a' tighinn bhon an àite mun cuairt ort, a' tighinn ... biadh ionadail, dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh, agus rud eile a tha air atharrachadh ann an croitearachd, chan eil uiread de dhaoine ag obair còmhla ri daoine eile. Ma tha crodh agad air a' mhonadh agus rudeigin ri dhèanamh, feumaidh tu barrachd air aon duine, so tha daoine a' tighinn còmhla agus bidh deagh chraic ann mar as trice. Bidh iomadach duine ag ràdh, "O tha e math a bhith a' faicinn an stuth a' fàs anns a' chroit." Feumaidh gu bheil e a' còrdadh ri daoine. 'S e dìreach tha iad feumach air beagan brosnachadh gus an dèan iad fhèin e.

[ANGELA] Agus dè an comhairle a bheireadh tu dhaibh?

[GABHAN] Uill, a bhith a' faighinn beagan eòlais air an obair an toiseach, tha mi a' smaointinn, agus an uair sin tòiseachadh beag air bheag gun a bhith a' feuchainn ri cus a dhèanamh an toiseach. Agus mas urrainn dhaibh rudan a dhèanamh dhaibh fhèin seach a bhith dìreach a' reic laoigh is uain, mas urrainn dhaibh a bhith a' faicinn dìnnear 's a' smaointinn, "Uill, tha seo a' tighinn bhon a' chroit agam fhìn," tha mi a' smaointinn gu bheil sin math dhaibh agus a' toirt sàsachadh dhaibh.

[ANGELA] Mòran taing, a Ghabhain.

[GABHAN] Taing dhut fhèin.

Crofting

English Beurla

Interview with Gavin Parsons: Crofting

Presenter: Angela NicAoidh (Angela Mackay)

[ANGELA] Speaking to me now is Gavin Parsons, who is a crofter. Welcome, Gavin.

[GAVIN] Thank you. I'm pleased to be here.

[ANGELA] Can you tell me how you learnt about crofting and farming in the first place?

[GAVIN] My mother had some cousins living on Islay and I think I had been reading about crofting and when I got the opportunity to go over there when I was at university I used to go to these cousins on Islay and work on their farm during the summer, and they had dairy cattle and they used to make hay while I was there and they also grew corn. And so I learnt how to work with corn, tying sheaves and standing them up in stooks and that year, they built a rick of corn at the high end of that field, and so we were ... Those were the traditional methods.

[ANGELA] Can you explain to me exactly what crofting is?

[GAVIN] Well, crofting ... I'm sure it's exactly the same work. You could say that it's a more organised method. Crofts are almost always in a township, a crofting township, and although every crofter has his own croft, there's also the hill-pasture, where livestock can be grazed, and that's held in common, so all the animals are mixed together with the rest of the livestock and each crofter has the right to graze a set number ... That's the souming, isn't it the number of animals they are permitted to put on the hill. And then there's a grazings committee which is responsible for the hill-pasture.

[ANGELA] How has crofting changed over the years while you have been involved in it?

[GAVIN] When I left university, I got a job on a croft owned by Jimmy Beaton on Iona, and he worked mainly with sheep, as did most crofters at that time - this was in the mid-seventies - who made a living that way. Everyone would ... Everyone had cattle and sheep, and everyone ... almost everyone made hay. We see fewer and fewer people making hay, and even making silage. Most crofters, you can say today, I think, work only with sheep. Some of them will have cattle, but people tend to just buy in winter feed although some still produce their own, and we see new methods of making silage nowadays. The large bales ... You don't have to fill a pit in the ground with grass to make silage. You have the bales and it's now much easier to feed the cattle. You put out a large bale of silage and that keeps them going for a few days.

[ANGELA] Because fewer people are involved in crofting than there were at one time, are the terminology and techniques being lost?

[GAVIN] Sheaves and stooks and ricks and stacks. Those are no longer used nowadays. The terms relating to animals are still currently in use. I think that new regulations are due to be introduced which will, a few years from now, ban animals from being tied up in a byre. They will have to be loose in a large shed, so even the terminology relating to byres will disappear too.

[ANGELA] How easy is it to be a crofter in this day and age?

[GAVIN] Working with large bales of silage makes things much easier. One point is that you need equipment. You need a tractor to move the large bales. We still work using the old methods. The cattle stand in the byre and we throw food down to them, but we have an easy way of doing it. The hay is stored up above them in a loft. We throw it down, making use of gravity, you could say, and then the manure is collected in a type of hole or cellar behind the animals. Clearing manure from the byre isn't hard work at all, just a case of shovelling it down a hole. If you make hay the way we do, the weather can make it difficult. You want up to a week of fine weather, and you don't always get that. Because of my job, I have a few weeks off in the summer and if things work out, I will have time to make hay.

[ANGELA] Tell me a little about the different things you have learnt since you first started.

[GAVIN] When I was on Iona, we made hay by hand. It was cut using a mower towed by the tractor, but after that we worked with a rake and a fork, piling the hay up in stacks, or ricks as they say in Argyll. Also, that man also used to slaughter sheep. I learnt about that, butchering the meat. I have worked with cattle. I worked on a farm on Mull, where there were about fifty calving cows, so I'm used to birthing calves. We made silage there. On our own croft, I plough the land and we plant seed to grow oats and we also plant hay. We plant turnips, but that involves a bit of work, thinning out the turnips and then harvesting them in autumn. We use our own milk, so I go out every morning and do the milking in the byre. We don't have sheep, although I have worked with sheep, so I'm used to dipping and shearing by hand. I've never used a shearing machine.

[ANGELA] Is there anything in which you are particularly interested?

[GAVIN] I think I'm interested in the way everything comes together. I like the way in which you work the land and feed the livestock and produce food for yourself from that. We have milk, we have meat, we have potatoes from the croft. We have a large garden where we grow all sorts of vegetables: carrots and potatoes and peas, even berries and a couple of apple trees ... We get quite a lot of our food from the croft and from the garden.

[ANGELA] Is there another side to the life of a crofter in terms of regulations and so on?

[GAVIN] You could say that officers from the Department, as it's called, make inspections to ensure that you are abiding by the regulations. If you are in receipt of grants, you must abide by the regulations. That's only right.

[ANGELA] Should people be given more encouragement to take up this work as a way of life?

[GAVIN] Yes, indeed, both as a way of life and also as something that's good for the economy in my opinion. It makes much more sense to eat food that comes from the surrounding area, coming from ... local food, you could say, and another thing that has changed in crofting is that fewer people are working with other people. If you have cattle out on the hill and you have to do anything with them, you need more than one person, so people come together and they usually have great craic. Lots of people say, "Oh, it's great to see things growing on the croft." People must enjoy it. It's just that they need a little encouragement to do it themselves.

[ANGELA] And what advice would you give them?

[GAVIN] Well, to get some experience of the work first, I think, and then to start off little by little without trying to do too much to begin with. And if they can do things for themselves besides just selling calves and lambs, if they can look at their meal and think, "Well, this came from my own croft," I think that's good for them and also very satisfying.

[ANGELA] Thank you, Gavin.

[GAVIN] Thank you too.

Croitearachd

Gaelic Gàidhlig

Agallamh le Gabhan Mac a' Phearsain: Croitearachd

Presenter: Angela NicAoidh (Angela Mackay)

[ANGELA] A' bruidhinn rium a-nise tha Gabhan Mac a' Phearsain a tha na chroitear. Fàilte ort, a Ghabhain.

[GABHAN] Mòran taing. Tha mi toilichte a bhith a seo.

[ANGELA] An innis thu dhomh ciamar a fhuair thu eòlas air obair croitearachd agus obair tuathanais anns a' chiad dol a-mach?

[GABHAN] Bha cousins aig mo mhàthair ann an Ìle agus tha mi a' smaoineachadh gu robh mi a' leughadh mu dheidhinn croitearachd agus nuair a fhuair mi cothrom nuair a bha mi anns an oilthigh bhithinn a' dol gu na cousins a bha seo ann an Ìle, ag obair tron an t-samhradh air an tuathanas aca, agus bha crodh bainne aca agus bha iad a' dèanamh feur nuair a bha mise ann agus bha cuideachd arbhar aca. Mar sin, bha mi a' faighinn eòlas air obair arbhair, a' ceangal sguaban agus gan cur suas ann an adagan agus a' bhliadhna sin, bha iad a' togail cruach aig ceann àrd an achaidh sin, agus mar sin, bha sinn ... 'S e sin an obair traidiseanta.

[ANGELA] Am mìnich thu dhomh dè dìreach a th' ann an croitearachd?

[GABHAN] Uill, croitearachd ... Tha mi cinnteach gur e an aon obair a th' ann. 'S e dòigh a tha air òrdachadh, dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh. Tha ... Tha croitean cha mhòr daonnan ann am baile, baile croitearachd, agus ged a tha a' chroit fhèin aig gach croitear, tha cuideachd am monadh ann, far a bheil ionaltradh ann dha na beathaichean, agus tha sin coitcheann, so tha a h-uile beathach a' dol am measg a chèile am measg na beathaichean eile shuas agus tha còir aig gach croitear a bhith a' cur àireamh shònraichte ... Sin an sumachadh, nach e, an àireamh de bheathaichean a tha cead aca cur air a' mhonadh. Agus an uairsin tha comataidh ionaltraidh a tha a' riaghladh obair a' monaidh.

[ANGELA] Ciamar a tha croitearachd air atharrachadh thairis air na bliadhnaichean fhad 's a tha thu fhèin air a bhith an sàs ann?

[GABHAN] Nuair a dh'fhàg mi an oilthigh, fhuair mi obair air croit aig fear Jimmy Beaton ann an Eilean Ì, agus bha esan gu mòr an sàs ann an caoraich, agus bha a h-uile croitear an uair sin - tha seo a-nise am meadhan na seachdadan - an sàs anns an obair. Bhiodh a h-uile ... Bhiodh crodh agus caoraich aig a h-uile duine, agus agus bha a h-uile ...cha mhòr a h-uile duine a' dèanamh feur. Tha sinn a' faicinn nas lugha 's nas lugha de dhaoine a' dèanamh feur, agus fiu 's a' dèanamh "silage". A' mhòr chuid de chroitearan, dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh an-diugh, tha iad dìreach ri obair chaorach, tha mi a' smaointinn. Bidh crodh aig cuid dhiubh, ach tha daoine buailteach air a bhith a' ceannach a-staigh biadh a' gheamhraidh, ged a tha cuid a' dèanamh sin fhathast, agus tha sinn a' faicinn an dòigh ùr air "silage" a dhèanamh an-diugh. Tha na bèileachan mòra ... Chan fheum thu a bhith a' lìonadh sloc anns an talamh le feur airson "silage" a dhèanamh. Tha na bèileachan agad agus tha e fada nas fhasa a bhith a' biathadh crodh a-nise. Tha thu a' cur bèile mòr "silage" a-mach agus tha e gan cumail a' dol airson beagan làithean.

[ANGELA] Seach nach eil uimhir de dhaoine a-nis an sàs ann an croitearachd sa chleachd, a bheil tòrr dhe na facail agus cleachdaidhean air a dhol à bith?

[GABHAN] Sguaban is adagan is cocanan is cruachan. Chan eil iad sin gan cur am feum andiugh ann. Tha fhios gu bheil faclan co-cheangailte ri beathaichean gan cur am feum fhathast. Tha mi a' smaointinn gu bheil riaghailtean ùra gu bhith a' tighinn a-staigh, agus cha bhi e ceadaichte, beagan bhliadhnaichean bho seo, a bhith a' ceangail beathach ann am bàthach. Bidh aca ri bhith fuasgailte ann an seada mòr, so bidh fiu 's na faclan co-cheangailte ri bàthach a' dol a-mach à bith cuideachd.

[ANGELA] Dè cho furasta 's a tha e a bhith nad chroitear san latha a th' ann?

[GABHAN] Ag obair le bèilichean mòra "silage", tha sin a' dèanamh cùisean nas fhasa do dhaoine. 'S e an aon rud gu feumadh thu uidheaman. Feumaidh tu tractar mòr airson na bèilichean a ghluasad. Tha sinne fhathast ag obair leis an t-seann dòigh. Tha na mairt nan seasamh anns a' bhàthach agus tha sinn a' tilgeil biadh sìos thuca, ach tha dòighean furasta againn. Tha feur ga stòradh shuas os an cionn ann an lobht. Tha sinn ga thilgeil sìos, a' dèanamh feum de "gravity", dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh, agus an uair sin tha an innear ga chruinneachadh ann an seòrsa de tholl no "cellar" aig cùl na beathaichean. Chan eil mòran obair ann a bhith a' cartadh na bàthach, dìreach a sgrìobadh le sluasaid sìos toll. Ma tha thu a' dol a dhèanamh feur mar a tha sinne, tha e gu bhith doirbh leis an tsìde. Tha thu ag iarraidh ' s dòcha suas ri seachdain de shìde mhath, agus chan eil sin daonnan a' tachairt. Leis an obair a th' agam, tha mi dheth beagan sheachdainean tron an t-samhradh agus ma dh'obraicheas cùisean, bidh ùine agam feur a dhèanamh.

[ANGELA] Innis dhomh beagan mu dheidhinn na diofar rudan air an do chuir thu fhèin eòlas bho thòisich thu a-mach.

[GABHAN] Nuair a bha mi ann an Eilean Ì, bha sinn a' dèanamh feur le làimh. Bha e ga ghearradh le "mower" air an tractar, ach an uair sin, bha sinn ag obair le ràcan agus forc, a' cur am feur suas ann an cocanan, no rucan, mar a tha iad ag ràdh ann an Earra-Ghàidheal. Cuideachd, bhiodh am fear sin a' marbhadh caoraich. Fhuair mi eòlas air sin, gearradh suas an fheòil. Tha mi air a bhith ag obair le crodh. Bha mi ag obair air tuathanas ann am Muile, far an robh suas ri leth-cheud crodh-laoigh, so tha mi eòlach air breith laoigh. Bha sinn a' dèanamh "silage" an sin. Air a' chroit againn fhìn, bidh mi a' treabhadh agus tha sinn a' cur sìol airson coirce agus bidh sinn a' cur feur cuideachd. Bidh sinn a' cur tuirneap, ach tha beagan obair an sin, a' tanachadh an tuirneap agus an uair sin gan togail anns an fhoghair. Tha sinn a' cleachdadh a' bhainne againn fhìn, so tha mi a' dol a-mach anns a' mhadainn agus a' bleoghan anns a' bhàthach. Chan eil caoraich againn, ged a tha mi air a bhith ag obair le caoraich, so tha mi eòlach air dupadh agus rùsgadh le làimh. Cha do rinn mi riamh rùsgadh le machine.

[ANGELA] A bheil dad sam bith ann anns a bheil ùidh shònraichte agad fhèin?

[GABHAN] Tha mi a' smaointinn gu bheil ùidh agam anns a h-uile rud còmhla. 'S toil leam an dòigh a tha thu ag obair na talmhainn agus biathadh na beathaichean agus a' dèanamh biadh dhut fhèin às a sin. Tha bainne againn, tha feòil againn, tha buntàta againn bhon chroit. Tha gàrradh mòr againn leis a h-uile seòrsa glasraich: currain agus buntàta 's peasraichean, fiu 's dearcagan, craobh ubhail no dhà ... Tha sinn a' faighinn deagh chuid dhen bhiadh againn bhon a' chroit agus bhon a' ghàrradh.

[ANGELA] A bheil taobh eile air beatha a' chroiteir a-thaobh riaghailtean is eile?

[GABHAN] Bidh oifigearan dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh bhon "Department", mar a tha iad ag ràdh, a' tighinn airson dèanamh cinnteach gu bheil thu a' coilionadh na riaghailtean. Ma tha thu a' gabhail na grantaichean, feumaidh tu cumail ris na riaghailtean. Tha sin ceart.

[ANGELA] Am bu chòir do dhaoine a bhith air am brosnachadh barrachd airson a bhith ris an obair seo mar dòigh beatha?

[GABHAN] Tha gu dearbha, an dà chuid mar dhòigh beatha agus mar rud a tha math dhan eaconamaidh, tha mi a' smaoineachadh. Tha e fada nas ciallaiche a bhith ag ithe biadh a tha a' tighinn bhon an àite mun cuairt ort, a' tighinn ... biadh ionadail, dh'fhaodadh tu a ràdh, agus rud eile a tha air atharrachadh ann an croitearachd, chan eil uiread de dhaoine ag obair còmhla ri daoine eile. Ma tha crodh agad air a' mhonadh agus rudeigin ri dhèanamh, feumaidh tu barrachd air aon duine, so tha daoine a' tighinn còmhla agus bidh deagh chraic ann mar as trice. Bidh iomadach duine ag ràdh, "O tha e math a bhith a' faicinn an stuth a' fàs anns a' chroit." Feumaidh gu bheil e a' còrdadh ri daoine. 'S e dìreach tha iad feumach air beagan brosnachadh gus an dèan iad fhèin e.

[ANGELA] Agus dè an comhairle a bheireadh tu dhaibh?

[GABHAN] Uill, a bhith a' faighinn beagan eòlais air an obair an toiseach, tha mi a' smaointinn, agus an uair sin tòiseachadh beag air bheag gun a bhith a' feuchainn ri cus a dhèanamh an toiseach. Agus mas urrainn dhaibh rudan a dhèanamh dhaibh fhèin seach a bhith dìreach a' reic laoigh is uain, mas urrainn dhaibh a bhith a' faicinn dìnnear 's a' smaointinn, "Uill, tha seo a' tighinn bhon a' chroit agam fhìn," tha mi a' smaointinn gu bheil sin math dhaibh agus a' toirt sàsachadh dhaibh.

[ANGELA] Mòran taing, a Ghabhain.

[GABHAN] Taing dhut fhèin.

Crofting

English Beurla

Interview with Gavin Parsons: Crofting

Presenter: Angela NicAoidh (Angela Mackay)

[ANGELA] Speaking to me now is Gavin Parsons, who is a crofter. Welcome, Gavin.

[GAVIN] Thank you. I'm pleased to be here.

[ANGELA] Can you tell me how you learnt about crofting and farming in the first place?

[GAVIN] My mother had some cousins living on Islay and I think I had been reading about crofting and when I got the opportunity to go over there when I was at university I used to go to these cousins on Islay and work on their farm during the summer, and they had dairy cattle and they used to make hay while I was there and they also grew corn. And so I learnt how to work with corn, tying sheaves and standing them up in stooks and that year, they built a rick of corn at the high end of that field, and so we were ... Those were the traditional methods.

[ANGELA] Can you explain to me exactly what crofting is?

[GAVIN] Well, crofting ... I'm sure it's exactly the same work. You could say that it's a more organised method. Crofts are almost always in a township, a crofting township, and although every crofter has his own croft, there's also the hill-pasture, where livestock can be grazed, and that's held in common, so all the animals are mixed together with the rest of the livestock and each crofter has the right to graze a set number ... That's the souming, isn't it the number of animals they are permitted to put on the hill. And then there's a grazings committee which is responsible for the hill-pasture.

[ANGELA] How has crofting changed over the years while you have been involved in it?

[GAVIN] When I left university, I got a job on a croft owned by Jimmy Beaton on Iona, and he worked mainly with sheep, as did most crofters at that time - this was in the mid-seventies - who made a living that way. Everyone would ... Everyone had cattle and sheep, and everyone ... almost everyone made hay. We see fewer and fewer people making hay, and even making silage. Most crofters, you can say today, I think, work only with sheep. Some of them will have cattle, but people tend to just buy in winter feed although some still produce their own, and we see new methods of making silage nowadays. The large bales ... You don't have to fill a pit in the ground with grass to make silage. You have the bales and it's now much easier to feed the cattle. You put out a large bale of silage and that keeps them going for a few days.

[ANGELA] Because fewer people are involved in crofting than there were at one time, are the terminology and techniques being lost?

[GAVIN] Sheaves and stooks and ricks and stacks. Those are no longer used nowadays. The terms relating to animals are still currently in use. I think that new regulations are due to be introduced which will, a few years from now, ban animals from being tied up in a byre. They will have to be loose in a large shed, so even the terminology relating to byres will disappear too.

[ANGELA] How easy is it to be a crofter in this day and age?

[GAVIN] Working with large bales of silage makes things much easier. One point is that you need equipment. You need a tractor to move the large bales. We still work using the old methods. The cattle stand in the byre and we throw food down to them, but we have an easy way of doing it. The hay is stored up above them in a loft. We throw it down, making use of gravity, you could say, and then the manure is collected in a type of hole or cellar behind the animals. Clearing manure from the byre isn't hard work at all, just a case of shovelling it down a hole. If you make hay the way we do, the weather can make it difficult. You want up to a week of fine weather, and you don't always get that. Because of my job, I have a few weeks off in the summer and if things work out, I will have time to make hay.

[ANGELA] Tell me a little about the different things you have learnt since you first started.

[GAVIN] When I was on Iona, we made hay by hand. It was cut using a mower towed by the tractor, but after that we worked with a rake and a fork, piling the hay up in stacks, or ricks as they say in Argyll. Also, that man also used to slaughter sheep. I learnt about that, butchering the meat. I have worked with cattle. I worked on a farm on Mull, where there were about fifty calving cows, so I'm used to birthing calves. We made silage there. On our own croft, I plough the land and we plant seed to grow oats and we also plant hay. We plant turnips, but that involves a bit of work, thinning out the turnips and then harvesting them in autumn. We use our own milk, so I go out every morning and do the milking in the byre. We don't have sheep, although I have worked with sheep, so I'm used to dipping and shearing by hand. I've never used a shearing machine.

[ANGELA] Is there anything in which you are particularly interested?

[GAVIN] I think I'm interested in the way everything comes together. I like the way in which you work the land and feed the livestock and produce food for yourself from that. We have milk, we have meat, we have potatoes from the croft. We have a large garden where we grow all sorts of vegetables: carrots and potatoes and peas, even berries and a couple of apple trees ... We get quite a lot of our food from the croft and from the garden.

[ANGELA] Is there another side to the life of a crofter in terms of regulations and so on?

[GAVIN] You could say that officers from the Department, as it's called, make inspections to ensure that you are abiding by the regulations. If you are in receipt of grants, you must abide by the regulations. That's only right.

[ANGELA] Should people be given more encouragement to take up this work as a way of life?

[GAVIN] Yes, indeed, both as a way of life and also as something that's good for the economy in my opinion. It makes much more sense to eat food that comes from the surrounding area, coming from ... local food, you could say, and another thing that has changed in crofting is that fewer people are working with other people. If you have cattle out on the hill and you have to do anything with them, you need more than one person, so people come together and they usually have great craic. Lots of people say, "Oh, it's great to see things growing on the croft." People must enjoy it. It's just that they need a little encouragement to do it themselves.

[ANGELA] And what advice would you give them?

[GAVIN] Well, to get some experience of the work first, I think, and then to start off little by little without trying to do too much to begin with. And if they can do things for themselves besides just selling calves and lambs, if they can look at their meal and think, "Well, this came from my own croft," I think that's good for them and also very satisfying.

[ANGELA] Thank you, Gavin.

[GAVIN] Thank you too.

Show English

look@LearnGaelic is a series of videos aimed at learners of Scottish Gaelic. It features a variety of styles, including interviews with experts and Gaelic learners, monologues and conversations. Use the links above to select subtitles in English or Gaelic - or to turn them off altogether. 'S e sreath de bhidiothan gu sònraichte do luchd-ionnsachaidh na Gàidhlig a th' ann an look@LearnGaelic. Bidh measgachadh de mhonologan ann, agallamhan le eòlaichean is luchd-ionnsachaidh, agus còmhraidhean. Gheibhear fo-thiotalan anns a' Ghàidhlig agus ann am Beurla.