Surprisingly the moisture readings which we take increasingly regularly at nightfall, have not rocketed. The dew has kept off which was fortunate as it allowed us to keep working into the night. It is important that the grain is below 16% moisture as it will remain unsold and on the floor for some while, certainly until the price improves.
We are keen to get the fields clear of grain and straw so we can prepare the ground for the next crop. The bean fields which will be sown with wheat are not a problem as they have already been cultivated. They have been sprayed, and some have received a good dose of FYM (farm yard manure) which will boost the soil condition and nitrogen, and raise the organic matter.
Lupins will be planted next spring at Ote Hall. I have secured a fair contract, they are good break crop and allow the ground a rest from winter beans which are not suited to being grown every three years on the same ground as we have been doing.
This year the spring was ideal and everything planted had a really good start with the damp ground and mild weather. We can hope this coming winter won’t be as wet as the last but there will be enough moisture and warmth to give spring crops a fair start. Knowing my luck the spring will be dry and it will be cold into May.
A number of stories in the press last week confirmed it is indeed the silly season. One report suggests that Brussels is considering legislation to ensure all ride on mowers are covered by motor insurance. What are they on about and why on earth should a garden mower need such cover? I can understand such a precaution for some council mowers which cut verges and are often driven by youths who watch too much Formula One Racing.
Before long disability scooters will be targeted for road tax and insurance; a heavy financial burden on the disabled and elderly which is unacceptable. I gather DEFRA are actively opposing the interference of EU bureaucrats and quite right too.
I will certainly not be applying for motor insurance for The Stig. Although we wiz around the garden at quite a speed, I am fairly confident that I will not be venturing out onto the highways to mix with the traffic where I would soon also get clobbered for the new Congestion Charge for diesel vehicles!
Unbelievably the Sociologist Dr Ben Pitcher has complained that the panellists on Gardener’s Question Time are inciting covert racism. He is outraged that they discuss native and none native plant species and talk about the purity of different spoil types. I think Dr Pitcher should get out more and perhaps spend some quality time in the countryside with gardeners and mix with the farming community. Why on earth would the panel of this popular programme wish to secretly feed nationalist and fascist fantasies disguised as horticultural advice?
I wonder if Dr Pitcher ever listens to the Farming Today programme. Probably not as he would be appalled to hear mention of pure bred traditional British livestock and crops.
Perhaps he will next insist every farmer should introduce continental breeds to mix up the genes, and accuse those of us with pure bred pedigree cattle, sheep and pigs of racist, nationalistic and fascist leanings.
I shall now view my lovely pure bred Sussex cattle in a different light. Perhaps I should paint them with a few white splodges to disguise their pedigree breeding to avoid offending anyone of a sensitive nature, or be hauled up before the PC brigade.
It would appear that ‘cash for peerages’ is very much alive and kicking. Once again the plush red benches of the House of Lords will be heaving under the bottoms of another 20 motley crew of party donors of all political persuasions, some justnto please women libbers.
When will political leaders realise that just because someone efficiently runs their own business, donates to their party or have credentials which placate the PC brigade, they don’t necessarily make good legislators. In fact since Labour pushed through regulation turfing out all but a handful of hereditary peers, and opened the doors to those who have found favour with party leaders, the quality, behaviour and work ethics of this august chamber has visibly declined.
Lady Boothroyd the former Speaker of the House of Commons is suggesting that Life Peers do not stay until they drop dead but retire at a certain age. Lord Foulkes is suggesting the number of ‘Lords’ to be reduced to 450 and a retirement age of 80. There are currently 850 following the latest intake of 20.
The House of Lords is overflowing, shambolic and inefficient and it is also far too political. Gone are the days when measured intelligent debate was considered by apolitical people wanting the best for the country. They have been replaced by many whose only goal is to support the leader who put them there.
Carola Godman Irvine