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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher



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24 May 2022

    Bluebells at Rushall Farm I first met...


14 May 2020




It is really significant news when you hear that Yattendon Estates have only just finished drilling on over 5000 acres and it is the 5th May.  There is a saying in farming that the difference between a good and bad farmer is one week.  Usually spring planting is completed by the end of March but, with an exceptionally wet autumn and winter, very little was done and the land has subsequently taken a long time to dry out.  So, the spring crops are drilled and several cuckoos locally have noisily proclaimed that it is “cuckoo barley” i.e. you might get a crop but you might not.

Meanwhile, in the natural world things proceed very much as normal.  A full moon lights the sky every 29 days.  As the bluebells recede bracken, with new fronds unfurling from the base, rapidly casts a blanket over the woodland floor.  Yesterday a badger came and dug for bugs in our lawn.  The same thing happened this time last year.  Does it keep a diary? And the yellows of flowering buttercup, dandelion, yellow archangel give way to the whites of cow parsley, garlic mustard and shepherds purse and then on to the blues of forget me not and corn flower, the pinks of foxgloves and  crimson red of poppy on uncut verges.  It always seems windy when horse chestnut trees are in flower with their magnificent blooms, while the oak sheds its dirty spent flowers and supports caterpillars hanging on thin threads to feed new broods of blue tits.

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,  a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”

Maybe this time, however hard, is OK then, given the wisdom that a new season always comes!


John Bishop