Wednesday, 23 July 2014

You Can't Fool A Farmer About The Weather.

Farmers don't just know the lay of the land!

Do you remember those old black & white movies about schooners, sailboats and pirates? It might have been the Bounty or some such. But I still recall a scene where one of the sailors needs to empty a bucket of waste into the ocean. Being young, it took me a while to understand why he first licked his finger and held it up in the air. He needed to see where the wind was blowing from as having the contents of this bucket blown back at him would have been simply yuck.

Farmers use sophisticated weather forecast just to make sure, but they know even before they look at the weather channel. It may be a finger stuck in the air or a twitching in their little finger or a cow mooing differently. But farmers the world over know.

Before Bob and I moved here, we came here to visit my parents. Our room was in front of the house, facing the street and thus the neigbours. Holidays are exciting anyway, but Bob and I got an extra dose of it. In the middle of the night, we both woke up. There was a loud humming sound in the air and as we looked out our window from our bed we saw huge round lights that hovered about 3 meters in the air.

We instantly recalled all the Sci-Fi movies we had ever seen and thought aliens had come to get us. At least for a second. Bob being brave rushed to the window to have a closer look. Men are funny that way and I suppose very brave...or eh, stupid! After a minute the penny dropped and he started to laugh. Yes, it was the neighbour, a farmer, taking his combine harvester ( huge beasts of machinery ) out to do its work. The ' alien ' lights, were just its brights... Oh well, now we knew!

On Monday evening another combine harvester cut a swath through the wheat field next to our house. The farmer started at sundown and luckily we knew why there were two huge round lights hovering about in the field. I was still wondering why they would work so late into the night and got my answer the next morning, on Tuesday. Our hot and sunny weather had gone elsewhere for a while. Yes, the afternoon brought heavy and continuous rain with it.

When I went for my walk yesterday morning, I saw how quick on their feet our farmers are. All the wheat fields along my route had changed. In fact, they really looked nice. When I rounded one corner I stumbled across a view, that could have been a setting for Claude Monet.
Just too beautiful, don't you think?

As I told you, the hot sunshine with the azure blue sky had disappeared for the day, but I still adore this view.
Such symmetry. As if these round balls of straw are standing to attention...( not sure if I can all it a hay-bale, as it is straw, isn't it? )
Perfectly rounded into a huge ball.
Can you see the raven perching on the bale of straw?
Here is a quick reminder what the wheat looked like before it was harvested. Also a picture of beauty...


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

You Reap What You Sow.

At least some of it!

Growing up and living in a city the adage of you reap what you sow was abstract and mostly applied to behaviour that wasn't up to scratch. Fair enough, it is true after all.

Well, now that we have our own little " Kitchen - garden " ( locally most refer to it as
a ' Küchelgarten ' ) we are literally reaping what we have sowed. A mini - gardener's delight. Calling it a kitchen - garden is apt. We do grow food in it and I made sure it was right outside our front door and only a few meters from our kitchen. My theory was that if I don't see it every day, I would forget to tend and water it!

There were times when I did forget the laborious task of watering our garden. We don't have an outside tap and unless nature has been kind with a lot of rain, it means lugging the jerrycan into the shower to fill four or five times. A few plants didn't survive, but some did. Seeing growth spurts of homegrown vegetables is nice. It sounds silly, but I do feel proud of this.

Our garden is fairly visible to neighbours & passers by, which puts some pressure on us to keep it nice...As luck would have it, the vegetables that didn't get a growth spurt of any sort are in plain sight of anybody. The vegetables that grew into abundance are hidden behind the fence. At times I do feel like putting a sign up stating that we do have vegetables that survived life with us!

Bob and I have been deciding for days when we should harvest the first one. Yesterday was the day. As the lawns in our garden seem to be turbo charged, Bob was yet again having a workout behind the mower. That marvelous smell of freshly cut grass was permeating everywhere and it instantly set a scene of in-the-moment-happiness. The freshly cut grass smell was only trumped by a sharp looking lawn...and the fact that we had grown our own bounty, supper was on us.

Our star performer. From the top it looks like a bunch of elephant's ears flapping in the wind, but underneath is a busy greenhouse made by nature.
The stem of each leaf has tiny needles and even parting the ' elephants' ears ' involves nerves or rather hands of steel.
Gosh, look at the size of it!
Isn't that a wonderful environment to grow up in? Nature is so amazing: it has created a natural shade cover for the vegetables to thrive. Wow. If you look closely, you can see our front door peeking through in the top left hand side of the photo.