A wheelbarrow, a cable drum, gardening tools, and a pickaxe are unusual items on a wedding registry, but that's what Mac and Siggy, a German professional couple, needed in order fulfill their dream to start organic gardening, then emigrating to Ireland to seek a healthier and simpler life in an unspoiled country. It's the 80's, the height of the Cold War, and a time of rearmament and potential political disaster. When Chernobyl blows up in 1986, they are scared enough by its fall-out to opt out of their comfort zone and make fundamental changes to the lives of their young family. They give up their jobs, friends and home to buy a farm in Tipperary, all to raise their young family in an unpolluted environment. Although Siggy shares her husband's environmental convictions, she would prefer a warmer location like a vineyard in France or an olive farm in Italy. But in order to keep the family together, she gives this new challenging lifestyle a try. More than just fleeing the nuclear threats, they want to blaze a new path to a more self-sustaining and wholesome lifestyle. A period of intense learning and acquiring new skills follows: How to raise chickens, pluck geese, breed cattle and sheep, and how to grow all kinds of vegetables. Soon they find out that farming means a never ending workload. A strict, inflexible routine is required on the farm; their roles change sharply with day-to-day demands and problems they never envisioned. Even cultural differences between Ireland and Germany contribute to their stress. They almost kill themselves (and each other) to produce healthy food. I Once Had a Farm in Ireland is a modern woman's journey from a sophisticated, hectic urban life in western Germany seemingly back in time to a lifestyle that may be rustic, so different but just as complex as a modern European professional's. It's the story of a woman who sacrifices her own dreams for the sake of her family until she discovers her own path. Detailed descriptions of gardening and farming activities, combined with recipes make I once had a Farm in Ireland a useful "How to" book for green-minded consumers and environmentally conscious readers who are toying with the idea of producing their own food.