Thursday 30 August 2012

Welcome To Autumn

Straw Bales near Low Hutton
It's here, like it or lump it, autumn has arrived. Or has it?

An astronomer would say no, autumn begins with the autumnal equinox, when the length of night and day become equal, this year that happens on the September 22nd.

The Met Office on the other hand, defines autumn to start on the 1st of September and for many people the August bank holiday marks the end of Summer.

Harvesting in Coachfield, High Hutton

Harvesting oilseed rape at Orchard Corner

 But you don't need a dictionary definition to tell you. The sky has turned that extra deep shade of blue, the heat of the sun is cozy rather than 'blazing June' hot, and there is a melancholy echo in the trees caused by the combine harvester chewing its way through another field of corn. The fields are full of bales, rose hips are swelling in the hedgerows and a fat moon hangs in the sky.

 It's here all right, welcome to autumn.

Rose hips


All material © Philip Stone 2012

Thursday 9 August 2012

Harvesting on The Rake

Harvesting on The Rake

It's August and harvest time is here. This evening I heard the sounds of farm machinery in the distance and hurried down the lane to if I could get a picture of a combine harvester at work. I was in luck, Richard Wainright, farm manager, and his colleagues were harvesting corn on The Rake, the field next to Rake's Lane.

The Claas finishes a swathe
Richard told me that harvesting had started late this year because of the wet summer, he grabbed a handful of straw and gave it to me - it was still not completely dry. Meanwhile up on the field the big Claas combine finished cutting a swathe of corn and made a cautious, slow turn, before heading back up the field.

Dry enough to cut?
Richard observed that they were having to take it slowly because the sun had gone -it was late evening - and the corn was getting damp. Once there would have been more time for this job, two combines would have been served by two or three tractors and at lunchtime they would have parked up and eaten lunch together. Now costs have to be kept down and one combine is kept moving continuously, served by two tractors.

Once the corn is cut, oilseed rape will be the next to be harvested, a job made harder by modern varieties of plant. These are short, which maximises yield, but modern, sophisticated harvesters are needed if they are to be cut efficiently.

Waiting for another load
Then Richard had to return to his tractor and trailer - the combine was ready to offload more corn.

All material © Philip Stone 2012

Tuesday 7 August 2012

2012 Produce Show - Results and Judges Comments

The 58th Huttons Ambo Flower & Produce Show took place at the Village Hall on Saturday August 4th 2012.

It was a marvellous day despite the stormy weather. Entry numbers were surprisingly good in view of our inclement growing season and there was plenty of excellent elderflower cordial and cake post judging to make everyone smile.

Thank you and well done to everyone who supported, judged, entered and helped.

You can download the results and some of the Judges Comments as a guide for future entries, here.

Huttons Ambo Show 2012 Results - word document
Huttons Ambo Show 2012 Results - pdf document

Judges comments 2012 and 2011 - word document
Judges comments 2012 and 2011 - pdf document

4 members of the show organising team are now standing down after several years of service for which we thank them.

However, this is almost half the committee.

We urgently need new Committee Members
If we do not find some volunteers by February 2013 then it may not be possible to deliver a show next year

The commitment is about 2 meetings a year plus small tasks and support/attendance over the show weekend. Please contact Liz Ellis as soon as possible if you are interested on 01653 699769 or by email.

Notification of the show date for the 2013 or its cancellation
will be posted on the website in the Spring.

Please help us if you can.

Thank you

Monday 6 August 2012

2012 Huttons Ambo Produce Show


On Saturday your editor attended the 58th Annual Huttons Ambo Produce Show. Despite the dire and erratic weather we've had this year the show was very good with an impressive display of vegetables, flowers, produce and handicrafts.

Our own potatoes have been ravaged by slugs so I was surprised to see a good selection of healthy looking spuds on show.

A good show of vegetables despite the weather

The Produce Section - bread, cakes, scones, jam and wine.
Those are my scones there on the lower right, terrible, aren't they?

At one end of the hall was the winner of the tallest sunflower competition, an immense plant reaching up to the ceiling of the village hall.

The largest sunflower in the village - can you do better?

This year I tried my hand at the produce section for the first time, brewing up some jam, marmalade and fudge, and I take some modest pride in getting a second prize for the marmalade.

Produce Show silver for the editor!

Prizes were awarded by Rector Taff Morgan (Rector of the Howardian Benefice, which incorporates the parish of Huttons Ambo) - here shown awarding a prize for the youngest competitor to Cammy Clark.

Youngest competitor in the show

A big thanks to everyone who organised and helped with the show, I know from personal experience how much hard work goes into putting on the show, so well done, it was excellent.

Will you find gold at the end of the Produce Show Rainbow? There's only one way to find out - enter the show next year!

All material © Philip Stone 2012