If I was a bee living in Nouvelle Aquitaine I would get to the month of June and say "f**k where did all the food go". After a drive east of our home we passed through miles and miles of fields that had been cut, effectively ridding us of any wild flowers in the landscape.
Farmers make hay to feed the livestock during the winter etc etc and we are beneficiaries of that process..... But what about the bales cut by field owners, farmers and speculators who then pile it on the edge of their fields and do nothing with it year on year? What about the people who cut and bale just to make it look neat and tidy, or if they say it is a fire risk if you leave the grass long, or the local entrepreneur makes an error and cuts and bales the wrong field that was actually planned in to be part of a rotational grazing plan and is then not very apologetic because, hey it needed cutting anyway. Blah, blah, blah. Unfortunately mechanisation has meant that not only is cutting grass too easy, but also the grass is cut too short, or too much is cut so there are no escape zones for flora and fauna.
One of the functions of long grass is to protect the ground from the sun and keep it cool. I am sure all of you have seen the pictures on social media comparing the temperature of tarmac, bare ground and a field with grass in. And all of you can go outside with a thermometer and see if it is correct.... Todays experiment by Alice is below, taken at 12.47 the 86 is a number I was using for poaching something.... yes it is my meat thermometer. Don't worry it will be washed.
An experiment showed that between 17 degrees centigrade and 29 degrees centigrade there was no effect on soil insect egg mortality, at temperatures from 40 degrees up, less than 5 percent of soil insect eggs survived "The effect of soil moisture and temperature on eggs: by N.P Lepage, G.Bourgeois, J.brodeur, Bioone.org 1 feb 2012.
Another graph on an experiment on aphid eggs shows that above 40 degrees there is basically no survival of eggs.
I could go on but I sense you may be getting bored.
Garden mowing fanatics do not escape blame today either. Cut it long, do not cut it all and dont have a robot mower on constant. You are effectively heating the environment around your home and killing all the insect life. And please don't get me started on paving and bad town planning.
I think you sense I might be irritated, Fed up with taking the flak for farmers being the bad guys all the time. I sat in the garden yesterday evening, in 30 seconds 6 planes had flown overhead. How come flights are still so cheap when the price of fuel is going up all the time? And if everyone is moaning about prices why does everyone still have enough money to go away on holiday? What is the environmental impact really of planes? Would I even trust the answer someone gave me when we are essentially of the soil, and what happens in the higher atmosphere is not entirely understood I don't believe. How can it be when we don't even understand the soil properly yet and we can all touch and see that.
What is the obssession with covering fields with solar panels? Why are we not just covering every roof that doesn't have them yet? I do not know whether anyone is seriously thinking long term or if we are just leaping from one bad idea to the next.
At the moment I have to decide who to vote for today in the French elections it is very difficult, More difficult than I had thought it would be. The numbers don't seem to add up. And my heart does not lie with either candidate. I will have to chose the least bad choice....
See you all soon
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I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area