What to look for in July
Farmers are always talking about the weather. There’s a reason for that. It affects everything they do. It is particularly important at this time of year when cereal crops are ripening and the first fields of wheat and barley should be ready to harvest.
This year the growth of crops was slowed by unusually cold weather in the spring so the harvest is starting a bit later than usual in the month. With some dry sunny weather the combine harvesters will start work.
In the summer you will see plenty of sheep and cattle grazing out in the fields.
Cows will enjoy the warm sunshine too. Don’t believe the old wives tale that when cows lie down it’s a sign that it’s going to rain. Cows will lie down for a large part of each day to chew the cud. That’s when they bring up the grass they have just eaten into their mouths and chew it again. This helps them to digest the fibre in the grass.
In the long daylight hours of the summer months you might also catch a glimpse of some of the other animals that live in the countryside.
There are plenty of rabbits about, feeding on grass in the fields, their ears alert for danger.
You might spot a fox busy hunting for beetles and worms in grass where cattle are grazing. Cow manure is a rich source of the sorts of insects foxes love to eat.
If you are very lucky you might see some wild deer like these red deer with their fawns making their way through a hay meadow.
Summer is the best time for fresh vegetables and fruit. A visit to a pick-your-own farm is a great outing with family and friends, and you will find the freshest, tastiest produce on offer. Strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, broad beans and carrots are just some of the crops ready now.
Have a look at our calendar to see what else is in season now.