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Another very important influence on farming is climate. Climate is the kind of weather in a place over a long period of time.

Ireland has a temperate climate. This means that the winters are mild, the summers have moderate heat and sunshine and there is plentiful rain all year round.

Because Ireland is a small island, the weather in different places in Ireland is quite similar. However, there are some differences from the west to the east of the country and there are often local variations.

Weather is very important to farmers. They need dry weather to sow and harvest crops. They need lots of rain to make the crops grow. You might enjoy a long, dry summer but the farmer will want some rain to make the grass grow and keep water in the streams for his animals to drink.

Some crops cannot grow in Ireland. For instance, the tea plant will not grow because we do not have sufficient sunshine for it to ripen. So, we import tea from China and India.

What do you think farming is all about? In thinking about this question, you could write your ideas on a diagram.

Below is an example of a special type of diagram, called a mind map. You make a mind map to make a picture of what you know. Look at the blank mind map below and as you go through this unit, remember what you are learning by creating a mind map like this.

When you finish the geography of food and farming, finish your mind map.

Remember you will need to record information in words and pictures.

The Water Cycle