The crops are in and already the farmers are cultivating the soil for the next sowing. A lot of the farmers, especially the ‘big’ guys who are solely arable farmers, rely on chemical fertilizers. But for those who farm on a smaller scale, or who keep stock as well, the ancient tried and tested method of muck-spreading prevails.
I will say, straight away, that I agreed wholeheartedly with this form of ‘recycling’ – there has been more than a few barrowloads of manure dug into my own garden and I much prefer the organic approach. The only downside is that, on a large scale, the smell can be quite overpowering. If it rains the muck is washed into the ground pretty quickly and the smell disappears equally fast, but if the weather is fine and the breeze is blowing it can be less than enchanting. And, of course, before it is spread on the fields there is usually quite a substantial muck heap slowly rotting down.
At the moment one of our local farmers is muck spreading, his tractor humming up and down the distant fields with the machine on the back slinging ‘you know what’ far and wide. For the last couple of days the smell has been pervasive and clinging, but now it is raining so we know the aroma won’t last long. At least we aren’t living next door – Chanel No 5 it certainly is not!