Whether the weather be fine…
They say “we Brits” are obsessed with the weather. Well, farmers are even more so, and with good reason! Once the crops are sown, its really up to the Gods as to what weather we get during the following seasons, and the weather alone will make or break a harvest.
We get one chance at harvest each year and the fact that the British weather is so unpredictable, whether it’s snow in spring time or hail in the middle of summer, it really keeps us on our toes!
Long winter, late crops
This year, for example, the long, relatively hard winter, followed by a late and very wet spring, in turn made our crops late.
The winter wheat and winter barley were sown later than usual, although they’re growing well now – the recent warm weather has contributed to ideal growing conditions.
The spring-sown crops are very late. We usually sow the spring beans first, followed by the spring barley, then the potatoes are planted when the land is warmer and finally the borage can be sown.
This year, though, some of the barley was sown first because conditions were better. Due to the fact that beans have to be sown much deeper, the land was too wet to sow them in March, as we usually do.
This year we planted the beans six weeks later than last year – some farmers have even kept their bean seed in the barn because they thought it was too late to attempt a crop at all!
Mild weather, rapid growth
Potatoes have also been planted later than usual but with the mild weather, there’s a good chance they will catch up. You can see from our photos how much rapid growth there has been over the last few weeks.
In fact, at present everything seems to be growing faster and bigger than usual but whether that continues relies very much on, you’ve guessed it… the weather.
But as the poem goes:
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!