The end of August and early September can be an anxious time for farmers. Getting the harvest in at the right time and in the right conditions is crucial. Imagine if you had spent the best part of a year working only to have a run of bad weather wipe out your entire income. The same period is also a very busy time for tourism in many rural areas – this could be a recipe for disaster with slightly lost tourists tootling up narrow, country lanes and stressed farmers driving massive tractors in the opposite direction – I can’t think why there aren’t more accidents.
You will see the farmers walking their fields, checking the crop then suddenly it’s all go. It’s quite impressive when you see all the combines out, especially from the top of the farm where you can see for miles across the Wolds. They carry on into the night working by artificial light, a race against the clock and it is very exciting to see.
As a town/suburbs dweller for most of my life it makes me think how most of us never give farming a second thought; unbelievably cheap and perfect food appears on the supermarket shelves and we buy it, eat or chuck it. That’s that. We never think of the hours spent driving up and down fields, ploughing and planting and spraying, the constant battle against weeds and pests, the anxiety and relief of the harvest then straight on to it again with the next crop.
It is a great life if you love the countryside and don’t mind being alone for a lot of the time but it is not an easy one. Here are some photos from the recent harvest at Dale Farm…remember the farmers and support them when you can.