November on the Farm (2022)

Rare albino squirrel seen in Sulgrave

Richard Fonge writes:

This November we have had some Autumn mists in the mornings, a natural weather occurrence, as opposed to the thick fogs we used to have years back, caused by factory chimneys and household fires. So our air is much cleaner, but the one negative for plant growth is that the sulphur emitted by all those factories is no longer freely available.

Sulphur now has to be applied to our crops to keep them healthy. All crops whether grown organically or inorganically need phosphate, potash, nitrogen, etc plus the necessary trace elements to grow and produce fruit. A good example of the lack of sulphur in the atmosphere is the need to spray the roses for black spot. The food we eat should contain all the necessary elements for a healthy balanced diet.

This has been one of the best autumns ever to sow and establish crops, and this can be seen across the parish. Those of you who take the Stuchbury footpath will have noticed that two fields have been sown into grass, after the maize. This has been done firstly to keep the soil structure together and secondly to feed back to the soil some organic content when it is cultivated back in next spring before the re plant of maize.

The oak trees have produced an abundance of acorns this year, making plenty of food to be stored by the squirrels, of which there are many scampering about.

The grey squirrel can be quite a destructive animal, especially to young trees, where they strip the bark to get at the sap, and in forestry situations they need controlling. Don’t them let get into your roof space as they will chew through electric cables.

Finally, I was told always cut your cloth to the situation. Seeing all those earth moving trucks parked up on the HS 2 site reminds me of this story.

A country parson had invited his Bishop to stay the weekend and preach at the Sunday evensong. However it snowed heavily and only a local Farmer turned up. The Bishop proceeded to take a full service lasting nearly an hour. As the farmer left he turned to the Bishop and said a word of advice .”When I go to feed my cattle and only one turns up, I feed accordingly, I don’t give them the blooming lot”

Richard Fonge.




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