What to look for in August

Farmers are always talking about the weather.  There’s a reason for that.  It affects everything they do all through the year.

Wet weather in August puts the cereal harvest on hold.  Grain crops, like wheat, barley and oats, must harvested on dry sunny days.

Before the combine can get to work, the farmer must check that the grain is dry enough to go into the store.  The grain will often have to be stored for some time until it is sold to be used in our food like bread or for animal feed.   If the grain is harvested too damp, it will heat up in the grain store and start to sprout and so be of no use.

When the weather is good there is still some silage and hay to be made to feed livestock next winter. Silage is made in big round bales or put in a ‘clamp’ or heap where the grass is compressed and covered in plastic sheeting.

You will see stacks of silage bales near farmyards or in corners of fields.

The bales are wrapped in several layers of usually black plastic by a special machine. See how it works, click on the start arrow below.

If you are walking in the countryside you’ll notice the hedges are full of flowers are the moment. Dog roses and wild honeysuckle spreads across the hedges at this time of year, the flowers giving off a beautiful scent on a warm evening.

Fine weather means there are plenty of locally grown summer fruits and vegetables on sale in farm shops and farmers’ markets and this is a good time to try something different.   Strawberries and raspberries are delicious but have you tried gooseberries or blueberries?  Delicious with Cornish cream!