Saturday, 24 July 2010
The farmer who owns the field next door to us in France has started rotating his crops. When we bought the house, the field was used for grazing cattle. Then last year, the farmer grew a cereal of some sort - probably barley. This year it's maize. Similarly, the field behind us was pasture up until this year and now there is a good crop of barley growing there. Maize next year?
Maize, or sweet corn, is a popular crop in the area but we were puzzled by the lack of corn on the cob in the local shops - it was just not to be seen. Then we discovered that the whole plant is cut and chopped by a machine, presumably for use as animal feed. In the early autumn tractors are constantly trundling to and fro with huge trailers loaded with chopped maize being taken to the farms.
Another crop which seems to be growing in popularity is this one:
We've never seen as many sunflowers in the western Loire as there are this year - and yes, that is maize growing beyond the sunflowers.