Sunday, 13 August 2017

Such is farming.

Ah well - these things happen.   All the grass was down and my neighbour, who is already working the farm although things have not gone through yet, was hoping to make hay.   Saturday and Sunday were forecast to be fine and warm with a breeze, so he was quite hopeful.  I was unsure because I know how often the farmer has felt the same and then things have gone wrong.

Sure enough, while I was out to lunch, it poured with rain.   As I was going to bed last evening (I tried to stay up to look for meteors but was too tired) there was such a lot of noise in the field.   I got up to look out of the window and all I could see were lights in the fields around the farm.

This morning all the fields are full of wrapped silage.  Obviously all hope of hay was abandoned, he cut his losses and made it all into silage.  Such is farming.

Back to the said lunch.   Friend W had friends for the weekend and she very kindly invited me to lunch yesterday.   And what a lunch it was!!  She had roast a large piece of ham - which was mouth-wateringly delicious and with it we had tiny salad potatoes, beautifully made chips, sweet corn, mange tout, chantenay carrots and broccoli.  Afterwards sticky toffee pudding, ice cream and super fruit salad and cream.   Then it was back into the conservatory for Lady Grey tea and  a lovely chat.   I stayed until half past five - a lovely day - so thank you to my dear friend.

Today has dawned sunny and warm.   I am taking my son and his wife out for lunch and then it will be back to sorting through mounds of farm papers - a job I am hating but a necessary job before I move.   As I took many old Defra booklets to the tip yesterday for recycling I did just wonder how many of these documents (delivered to every farm in the land I presume) had ever been opened and read.   They are issued each year and must take up quite a large percentage of their budget.

Enjoy your Sunday.

21 comments:

Rachel said...

We also had piles of those Defra books. The books contained the EU Directives that we had to follow. They were read when we completed the annual RPA forms, but Defra only sent complete sets to everybody which included books for upland farming and grassland which were not relevant to arable farmers and thus never opened. It must have been the same for you, only vice versa. They all eventually went into recycling when we sold up. Enjoy your day out.x

Heather said...

It's a lovely sunny day for us today so a spot of cutting back and general tidying in the garden I think. The grass looks OK and will wait a few more days. I am at the stage where I wonder just how many pots, pans and dishes I might need during the next 2 or 3 weeks. I still don't have a definite completion date but dread having to do the final bit of packing at the last moment. Hopefully it will be during the last week of August or the first in September.

A Heron's View said...

There is a much greater food value in silage than in hay - so well done to the new to be owner.

Tom Stephenson said...

What an August. Such is living in Britain too.

Minigranny said...

Farming must be difficult with the vagaries of the English weather. So glad you had such a lovely day out and hoping you have a good one today too!

donna baker said...

Did friend W cook all of that? She must be a wonderful friend.

Lucy Corrander Now in Halifax! said...

I've never fathomed the art of making a meal with lots of separate elements. I wish I could.

Wilma said...

Your friend certainly knows how to do lunch as a social event. Yesterday we started out with heavy rain and ended sunny. Today we started sunny and now have drizzling rain. It may be sunny again before the day is done! Will the ld farm papers stay with the farm or are they things you need to keep?

justjill said...

I dont know how farmers manage so well. We have forecasts of wall to wall sunshine then it hisses it down. Some Barley fields have been cut and baled. Hay is sitting in round bales presumably hoping it will dry out?
Fabulous lunch you had there. You have some great friends.

Joanne Noragon said...

It's like phone books here. Regularly printed and delivered to each household which dutifully (or not) puts it in rcycling.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Wilma - they will now need sorting into appropriate piles for both.
Yes Donna she did - and in a very unflappable manner too.
Yes Hero but there are a lot of horses round here and they love hay.
Rachel we never filled in all the RPA forms ourselves, they were done by an agent.

Librarian said...

I'd never heard of Defra books before (hardly surprising) but it seems a rather superfluous thing, just adding more beaurocracy for everyone. I wonder whether that will stop for British farmers once Brexit is complete.
Your lunch sounds wonderful, although I don't think I would have offered spuds in two varieties (boiled AND chips). Did you manage to sample all of the different desserts?

Rachel said...

Defra is the UK government department responsible, amongst other things, for adminstering the EU Common Agricultural Policy. It may appear superfluous and one day it might be but while we live with multitudes of EU Directives to follow in agriculture it is anything but superfluous. It may be more suitably called a pain in the backside.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Librarian - I am keeping very quiet regarding desserts!
Rachel - I agree with you. I know it is important to get all the information down on paper but they are often huge booklets and knowing farmers (and I am sure you know them even better than I do) they just carry on as they have always done.
Thanks everyone.

Unknown said...

Such is farming. Ah well - these things happen. All the grass was down and my neighbour, who is already working the farm although things ...
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Alphie Soup said...

Lady Grey tea - a fitting finale to a fabulous feed. Feed - continued the alliteration and in this godforsaken and benighted country ( not my opinion of course) at the far end of the world is a colloquialism for a meal.

Alphie

Rachel said...

For arable farmers this is not the case Weave. The EU changed many things to which we had to abide by. One of which was compulsory set-aside and then they paid money to us for not growing crops. Contrary to what people may like to think, this is not what farmers wanted. It set about enormous changes. And of course poorer countries started to queue up to join the EU to get a share of this money. The playing field is not level and Britain are one of the largest contributors to the pot that all those countries are grabbing for.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Re. government-funded documents, it was the same in education towards the end of my career. Mountains of A4 ring folders and other glossy booklets that you were meant to read, process and implement. Even if you worked 24/7 you would never have been able to get on top of all this stuff that was frequently superseded by new glossy booklets filled with bullet points and checklists, appendices and reading lists. The stuff of nightmares. I suspect that you departed the profession before the churning really took off.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Our stack of junk mail that goes unopened is staggering. Such a waste of paper, I wonder if the senders know how often their missives go unread? So sorry about the hay. I never knew how precarious that process could be until I read A Shepherd's Life by James Rebanks. xxx

Victoria Howell said...

Hope all is well with you Weaver. I noticed you had not posted since Sunday. I love reading your posts and look forward to them.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. Read today's post to see why I have not been posting all week.