It’s a wonderful life

patedgingtonBack in April I wrote rather gloomily about the prospects for this year’s harvest. We had just had a very dry spell and all our crops looked to be under stress. Having just put up a new grain store I concluded we would be unlikely to be testing our storage capacity to the limit.

They say the nice thing about being a pessimist is you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised. Now harvest is upon us I am pleasantly surprised. We started combining Oil Seed Rape in the second half of July during that very hot weather that seems a distant memory now. Yields were very reasonable compared to the last couple of harvests and no drying costs. In fact some farmers were forced to abandon combining in the middle of the day as the seed was too dry. If the dry weather continued we saw the possibility of another early finish to the harvest. No sooner were we thinking that and a very wet spell in early August had us thinking the reverse. However once we started combining the Spring Barley and then the wheat, spirits were cheered by some good yields. We await tests on our Spring Barley to see if it makes the grade for malting and also on our milling wheat but we are hopeful both are of good quality. As I write at the beginning of September we have just started combining beans. They have looked well all season and are not disappointing now the combine is in the field.

So my harvest message is upbeat. One other time when I must have given a positive harvest verdict at a Harvest Festival service in Milton Church, our farming neighbour and friend Pat Edginton complimented me saying farmers too often moan about their lot and actually farming was a wonderful life and we should show this face in public more. Pat seemed one of the fittest and most healthy of our generation but he sadly passed away last month. I am sure many of you knew him as he was so active in our community. His love of life and farming lives on in his family who are so close and supportive. The farm lives on with an Edginton at the helm, I hope and pray for many generations to come. We give thanks for his wonderful life and think of Mary and all the family at this difficult time.

Mike Hartley

October-November 2019