I am relieved that the rain has stopped but we now badly need some sun and wind rather than this heavy, humid stuff which is so dense it could be cut with knife. The damp air is clinging to everything including the barley and Lupins, the moisture content of which is stubbornly reluctant to drop below 20%.
Other parts of the country are enjoying wall to wall sunshine and gentle breezes which is just what we need but here in Sussex we are covered by a blanket of cloud which appears reluctant to budge.
Let’s hope the soothsayers who are predicting an ‘Indian Summer’, for the rest of the month are right, as those of us who have yet to finish the last of the harvest have run out of patience and the prospect of bringing damp grain into the store is not a happy one.
This year the Hurstpierpoint and District Agricultural Association ploughing match will take place at Perching Manor Farm in Fulking, on Saturday 5 October.
This annual ploughing match showcases much that is great about farming, and the object of the Association is to encourage good ploughing, good husbandry, good fellowship and an awareness of current agricultural best practises.
The area of this Association comprises of all those parishes bounded by Slaugham in the north, Henfield in the west, Plumpton to the east and in the south the coastline.
Perching Manor Farm is a large 1450 acre family run farm. It has been run by the Harris family since 1920, and the ploughing match takes place here by kind permission of Mrs Joyce Harris and family. The farm comprises of 450 acres at the foot of the South Downs, between the villages of Fulking and Edburton, and 1000 acres directly above Truleigh Hill.
There are 600 acres of arable crops including wheat, oilseed rape, beans and spring barley, and a beef enterprise runs 100 Limousine cross Angus suckler cows.
The ploughing match includes classes for horse drawn ploughs, pre 1960’s ploughs both with and without hydraulics, and vintage ploughs, as well as modern reversible and conventional ploughs. The ploughing starts at 9am and those ploughing will have 3 hours to complete their plot.
Other events include the popular hedge laying competition which demonstrates this ancient craft which if laid correctly will remain stock proof and provide shelter for livestock for at least 60 years, which is more than can be said for barbed wire and fence posts!
There will also be Tug of War, a Dog Show and the ever popular Terrier Racing. Refreshments include bacon rolls, burgers, home-made cakes and a licenced bar.
This event offers an enjoyable day out for all the family. It is an opportunity to see the skills which farmers use every day as they toil and tend the land which grows the food which feeds the nation. Farming is about getting food from field to fork, well this is where it starts, with the soil and the plough.
Come and enjoy a traditional family day out in the beautiful late summer countryside and watch the skilled ploughmen turn the soil with an assortment of ploughs both vintage and modern. There will be something for everyone including entertainment for the kids, livestock, competitions, delicious food and the licenced bar. What else could one possibly want?
Carola Godman Irvine