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Farmer John’s August 2012 Blog

Farmer John’s August 2012 Blog

1 Aug 2012

The prospects of finishing harvest before the South Berks Ploughing match on the 4th September look very bleak.

It’s the middle of August and it’s ‘rain stopped play’ again. Unlike the last 2 years grass has continually grown and there has been no shortage of the colour green around. This is entirely as a result of the able offices and efforts of Richard Benyon. The much feared drought and repeat of the summer of 1976 all disappeared almost as fast as you can say “hosepipe ban”. I’ve decided that 3 months of very wet weather has made me feel quite “under the weather”. The origin of the term was said to be in the early 1800’s, when sailors feeling ill in bad weather conditions would rest below deck to avoid getting even worse. Forecasters today still describe a series of low pressure weather systems coming across the Atlantic as a deep depression. Is it just a coincidence that bad weather often makes us feel depressed? In spite of it all, we have silage and hay for the winter, sheep are sheared and 300 lambs away, as well as oat straw baled from the Estate. We’ve probably completed a quarter of our harvest.

Perhaps it’s just as well that a Prayer Safari on tractors and trailers has been organised for the 16th September. We will be travelling around Theale and Englefield, with stops asking for God’s blessing on our fields, farms, workplaces, schools, shops, homes and communities. And, of course, we will ask Him to be with us in ALL situations, including when harvest isn’t going too well.

Today a lad called Joshua joined me to help for the morning. He is 16 and has learning difficulties. For some weeks I have been trying to improve his self esteem. When he arrived I asked in a rather negative manner how he was. He replied “determined and confident*”, at which point I bucked up and did a good day’s work weaning lambs.

*God’s word to Joshua was “Be determined and confident, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” Joshua 1 v9