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Harvest Home

15th of October 2009

Finally at the beginning of September the grain harvest is all gathered in. In my younger days it was never finished until the middle of September and I never wanted to go back to school while the combine was still out. As I got older my father was not keen to send me back either;  I was too handy with the grain trailer and so I was usually ‘ ill’ for the first week of term. A bit dodgy when you live right next door to the school! Now that combines are so much bigger and quicker the grain is soon swallowed up, but we still cannot control the weather and this showery, wet summer has been a trial for farmers every where.
All the rain has made the grass grow and my two lambs are in fine shape. If anything I think they will be a bit on the fat side, but I don’t mind that. The apples in the new orchard have all benifitted from the rain and are swelling nicely, but they could do with a bit more sun to sweeten them. We take a lot of eating apples to Chartridge to be pressed, pasteurised, and bottled. The juice, which we call Bathursts Bounty, is smashing, but last year’s was not as sweet as the years before when it was sunnier. We also store a lot of apples for eating and I rarely buy an apple before April. The sheep eat the bad ones, so none are wasted. I love picking apples;  I suppose its the old thrill of harvesting the crop but without the barley dust that used to make my face as black as a chimney sweep’s! Next year I am hoping for some more exotic crops as we have planted two peach trees and an apricot. I think they will need a bit more sun so let us hope next summer is a BBQ  Summer!
Wendy Bathurst

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