31 Jul Harvest Time
It’s that time of year again, when the combines are rolling through the ripe crops. The tractors are hauling the grain, making the bales and getting ready to work the land once more. It’s a repetitive cycle but one that is never the same, no matter how many years our farmers have been doing it.
There is always a dependence on good weather at harvest to bring the crops in dry and in the best condition. Moisture meters mean farmers can be spot on with harvest, cutting when it’s just right. My father, like many, still rely on the ever faithful “bite test” to be certain!
It’s amazing to think the investment in time, money but also love that goes into getting ready for harvest. Making sure the machinery is in top working condition, the combine harvester which sits in the barn for ten or eleven months of the year must be serviced, cleaned and run up ready to get started, all dependant on mother natures mood swing that day or week. A heavy downpour will mean nothing can be cut for two or three days, and too much hot weather will been the grain is too dry for the mill. A very careful balancing act.
Harvest this year has started early for us at the family farm in Herefordshire, last year we didn’t start cutting the oil seed rape until the first week of August but this year it was all finished by the second week of July, bringing in very handsome yields. There is always a wait to start harvesting the wheat, until it is perfectly golden with ripe grain but also good dry straw suitable for livestock bedding.
I certainly feel very humbled to have involvement with farming and know exactly where our food comes from. I grew up on a dairy and arable farm, milking the cows and driving the tractors, and it is a privilege to be working in the industry now with our Toad’s Mill.
It is a stressful time during harvest, plenty of treats are needed during the long days, fish and chips at least once a week is must!
Mrs Toad x
p.s. Please have patience on the roads with the guys who work tirelessly over the summer months to make sure there is enough grain in the sheds to keep bread on our tables throughout the year. It is fantastic quality produce from our fields here in Britain and it need not be rushed!