Recovery mode

Recovering from a moderate dose of the flu this week. Not COVID, just a bog standard dose of the lurgi which has left me with a morning cough and heavy sense of lethargy. Bloody thing. It’s been hanging around like the last guest at a party who doesn’t know when it’s long past time to go home.

That’s not really important because the meadows are cut, the grass crop is in and I’m out seeding just before dusk. The idea is to create a wildflower meadow with a particular native species called Yellow Rattle, a parasitic plant that cuts down the grass content of a given meadow by binding to the roots of various types of grass, allowing easier germination of other types of native species of meadow plant. Well, that’s what I’m told anyway.

One issue with grassland over here, because of Ireland’s geology, the soil tends toward wet and poor nutrient, which means rushes. Rushes (Juncus Effusus L), are little use for man nor beast and a pain in the bum to get rid of from pastureland. Experiments have been done, trying to turn them into some sort of biofuel, but so far nothing commercial. So I’m trying a parasitic planting to reduce the rushes in our meadows and thus improve the pasture and forage.

We’re doing our land management in partnership with an NGO which promotes the creation and maintenance of native plant species for pollinators and native bee species. My neighbours are all watching with interest, as their land has a similar set of problems.

We could be setting a trend here, if it works. Especially with the new ‘Green’ agenda being forced on us small farmers from above. The politicians can’t force you to stop using artificial fertilisers if you don’t use them anyway, but just you watch the townies start screaming as yields drop and food prices soar. ‘Sustainable’ my left buttock.

Speaking of bees. Last hive inspection before Winter is done, and I may have to wait until Spring before I split my colonies into heavily insulated ‘Nuc’s’. However, instead of feeding, I’ve elected to leave a ‘Super’ on top of the brood box on each hive so that my bees have plenty of winter food already. This means I have a reduced crop, but it still leaves me with a healthy surplus for gifts, mead brewing and personal use this year. So, win-win for both me and the bees.

As for me, I’ll feel a whole lot better in a week or so when I’ve shrugged off this damn flu. Because there’s a whole heap of things to be done before Winter comes, and people owe me favours, which I intend to do a little cashing in on.

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7 thoughts on “Recovery mode”

  1. Get well soon! There’s been a nasty flu-type virus going round ever since the kids went back to school….

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  2. Leaving the bees with honey rather than feeding them artificial stuff is what I do with my bees. I have a lot less losses than others every year. Most years none at all.

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      1. With some ‘slick’ advertising and get them to become ‘trendy’ on Farcebook, who knows you could corner the market 😉

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