Caroline Whelan’s business venture of starting a pumpkin patch in her native Galway was very nearly over before it ever began. Like many other yields around the country, this summer’s drought almost put paid to her precious crop of pumpkins.

Drought or no drought however, Caroline, along with her fiancé Gerry Quinn and his nine-year-old nephew Seán, overcame the dry spell through sheer manual labour. Now, standing in the midst of the pumpkins and looking down at her muddy shoes, Caroline says the current conditions are a far cry from summer evenings in shorts and t-shirts hauling water to the field by hand.