I am pleased to say that our potato ground is ploughed and drying off awaiting the seed potatoes. Ploughed ground dries off more quickly because the surface area is increased. I was ploughing on Friday afternoon in the fog and for half an hour it lifted to reveal a glorious day. For a little while I was in heaven. Yes, believe it or not, there are moments like this, alone in a tractor, in the field. There is a lot of debate in organic circles about the benefits of ploughing because of the inversion of soil that occurs. In fact we plough as little as possible and prefer to use a cultivator. Having said that, to quote a farming friend of mine, “cometh the season cometh the plough” and this feels like a plough season to me. Why? Well, because the ground is wet and we are late getting started.
The seed potatoes are now in chitting trays, because we can’t plant them yet and they have started to grow. We will wait for the right conditions to plant them.
I listened to Anne Glover on the radio this morning. She is the chief scientific adviser to the European commission and in favour of genetically modified food. With our own environment minister, Owen Paterson, and many others pushing for GM, it seems that the battle is almost lost. I also read that all the major supermarkets (except Waitrose) already sell meat, eggs, dairy and farmed fish from animals fed on GM feed without labelling it as such, which confirms my suspicion. When I am in my tractor moving slowly up and down with the plough, GM technology seems to be a million miles away and perhaps it does for you too. If you are interested in opposing GM in our food and preserving Organic farming, then you might want to join the Soil Association campaign.