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By the barn September 2018

Posted: 11th Sep 2018

BY THE BARN

“#Careless if the season be early or late,

The skies wander overhead, now blue, now slate,

Winter would be known by his cutting snow

If June did not borrow his armour also.”

Robert Graves

After a very hot and dry summer, that has burnt the pasture and meant many farmers are already feeding the winters fodder to sustain their livestock, the harvest is coming to a close!

The early sown crops have fared better than the spring sown ones, which lacked enough moisture and heavy land has coped well enough in most cases, but the uplands have suffered – the threat of fire has also increased along with the heat!

Lots of the brown butterflies are in evidence now, replacing the clouds of Whites last month.

The Thrush family seems to have done well this year- many broken snail shells litter our drive where there are stones for them to crack open and get at the snail inside.

The apples are dropping off the trees and, full of concentrated sweetness, attract wasps and butterflies and all manner of birds and animals. The old saying- an apple a day keeps the doctor away- seems to be scientifically proved as they are shown to reduce Asthma and promote good pulmonary health, as do many other crops.

There is such a variety of oils produced by farmers- who hasn’t heard of the health benefits of Rapeseed oil, but even way back in Roman times oils such as Sage and Lavender have been used for multiple purposes.

Usually used as an ingredient in stuffings, Sage was considered a wonder remedy for improving memory and the name is derived from ‘Salvia’, meaning ‘to be in good health’ or in French, ‘all is well’. One case of sage oil was worth three cases of fine Chinese tea.

Lavender is grown in many counties, its fragrant flowers attractive to pollinators and people alike and the flower oil is distilled. It has antimflammatory and antiseptic properties- those of you with children will know a well - known nappy rash cream which contains it, also as a perfume and soothing sleep enhancing scent.

September is a time for sheep sales and ploughing matches, rams being put with their ‘ladies’ and field work, as thoughts turn to next year and the rents are due on tenanted farms on Michaelmas day (29th ). Flowers are being replaced by Funghi and the Swallows are queueing up on the wires, ready to fly away!

The summer has come to its end and autumn begins.

Posted by: Angela
Categories: Farming

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