The Countryside About Us: August 1993

posted 28 Jul 2013, 11:18 by James Mansell
The pea harvester “circus”, performing 24 hours a day, will have gone for another year. Several acres of vining peas are grown in our parishes. If you happen to live near a field where the performance took place, maybe your entertainment was at a time when you would have preferred to be asleep!  Consider though the great convenience of that handy polythene bag of freshly frozen peas.  Modern techniques have removed the seasons from our diets.  However, if you are a gardener you might just disagree about the definition of taste and freshness. 

Mid August will see the barley crop combined and speculation about yield will have been converted to reality.  It is a dangerous pastime to suggest a good harvest.  It tempts fate some would say. A hefty thunderstorm could easily flatten a promising crop. However, you will have noticed as you drive along our Suffolk roads and lanes the cereal harvest does looks promising this year. In spite of a troublesome springtime, one can see some lovely rolling fields of wheat. Every hectare could probably fill a ten tonne trailer. A bonus would be sunshine so the crop could go into store without the need for reducing the moisture level to 15% using expensive oil to do so.

Visiting a friend on his farm the other day, I was given a handful of dead mice! An unusual gift you might think, but the instructions that followed removed the mystery.  “Put those on top of that fuel tank” he said.  Apparently he had been regularly feeding a kestrel who was nesting in a nearby dead elm tree. Sure enough, after only a few minutes, with the speed and accuracy of an RAF Tornado, the hawk swooped towards the tank, and as it passed over, secured a mouse in its talons, and returned to its nest.

Roger Sykes