Monday, 17 April 2017

The worm might forgive the plough....

Guilty pleasures...




View from the Office window, on a sunny bank holiday.
Note the mobile niche habitat growing round the window frames.



🚜
Ploughing my own furrows... 

But what could be more innocent than a vegetable farmer turning her sod of an April evening?

Well that would depend upon who you ask... 

The case for the prosecution... 

Ploughing Inverts the profile, and carefully layered micro - ecology of the soil, thereby upsetting its delicate balance. Abit like turning a tower block and it's residents upside down, some might claim.

 It exposes same said microflora to damaging U.V. rays, and liberates organic carbon to the atmosphere. Turning the soil also disrupts its structure, thus making it more vulnerable to wind, and water erosion..


The case for the defence ...


Annual vegetables, which are most of the veg that we eat cannot be planted into weedy ground.

 They will suffer competition for air, light, moisture and nutrients. 

And weeds will harbour pests such as slugs. 

All this can lead to total crop failure. 


But we don't want to use toxic herbicides. . .


So what to do?


On a small organic garden scale, one can hand lift the perennial weeds and mulch, or hoe off the rest... 


But where is the labour, and mulching material to do that on six acres..?

 Vegetables, even organic ones don't command that kind of return...... 

Mortgage, wages, and other drear bills must be paid. .


So it nearly always feels like a compromise between doing the 'right thing' from a green point of view. And doing what has to be done..... To make a living, and feed people in the real world.



And O.K. yes I confess, I do enjoy the work too.... indecently so perhaps?

 It definitely has a dramatic effect, for the few litres of diesel burnt..... 

 I'll keep going for now, and leave others to pass judgement on my methods - but at least it's done reasonably straight 

... And really not that deep - a 'proper' farmer would probably call it pareing, rather than ploughing.

There were lots of lovely worms, most of whom , with luck wriggled away from the Jackdaws attention fairly swiftly.





And look! It's only a teensy two furrow plough -  Would be considered a mere toy; by most standards.



Next up - lots of compost to spread .

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