The orchard is harrowed, the spuds are in the ground and the contractor has just been to lime the soil and bring the PH back to normal.  Nearly all the apiaries now have supers on and we’ve already had colonies superceding their queens.  Friday even saw two possible swarms!  No two years are ever the same but what a contrast to last year.  I just got to have a crack at something new last week too; Threshing.  Dave Symonds the thatcher brought his amazing reed combing rig over and thrashed the Maris Widgen to within a fraction of an inch of its being.  The result is a massive pile of bundles for the roof, a pile of straw bales and bagged corn in the shed.  Such an experience to not only see, but get involved with the process and his team.  Incredible that this equipment is still the best way of producing thatch, and that it needed five of us to complete the task.  Comparing it to modern farming techniques really puts the exodus of agricultural labour into perspective.  I happened to speak to two people this week who remembered the threshing teams being replaced by combines and in field baling, and the profound change that it brought about in the rural community.

Mark Rogers
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