Sunshine and showers!

Business Park News..

This week saw our first Stockwood Business Park event for ages! Along with the Rush Farm Supper Club we were lucky enough to find a beautiful sunny Friday evening on which to host a Summer BBQ. We met by the pond and nearly everyone from the business park came along and we had a lovely sociable time. There have been several new businesses joining us during the last year so this was a time of introductions within our working community. Thanks to everyone who came along and made it a great evening. Hopefully more to come in the future.

Farm News..

August, so far, has been warmer, though not without showers of rain both heavy and misty, so the fields are bright green with lush growth. The misty mornings are giving us an autumnal feel, reinforced by the hedgerows and trees taking on a dark green, and the berries taking on their autumn colours.  

Having finished our hay making we are in a better position than those farmers still trying to harvest their grain crops. Unlike last year when the incredible warmth meant the crops’ moisture content was almost too low, and driers lay idle, this year they will be in use!

We were pleased to welcome Tim back from a two-week break. Alice and Brendan having done a good job covering for him. The barn is still to be fully emptied of the straw bedding from last winter, a job that definitely needs finishing soon so that the piles can be left to compost down in the fields.  

The cattle are looking glossy and very fine with their smooth shiny summer coats and several new calves have been welcomed into the herd, both strong boys, up and about and feeding well in no time at all. New Forest Eye is a problem with some of the calves, but the rest seem to have developed immunity we hope.  

A sparrow hawk seems to have taken up residence in the wood, and hovers over the fields next to it. It has been lovely that the sounds of little children are once again to be heard in the wood as a woodland nursery trial continues. 

In the main vegetable patch, a corner has been cleared with the help of a mini digger and revealed a space large enough to contain a row of compost bins and a couple more beds as well! With an injection of young blood to the farm team, plans are being made to restart the vegetable box scheme. Do let us know if you might be interested! 

In the house garden a large number of runner beans are almost ready to harvest, the garlic is growing well, and there are a lot of potatoes that need to be dug up before the slugs discover them! The blueberries have been replanted in a fruit cage to protect them from the birds. All they need now is some warmth and sunshine to ripen them. Don’t we all! 

Interestingly, around the farm, there are more saplings than usual under the oak trees after last year’s bumper acorn crop. We have protected one sapling from being grazed, and would like to relocate a few others, however digging them up breaks the long tap root, weakening them – it’s a dilemma. 

We were very pleased at the end of last week to provide a meal made from Rush Farm beef, lamb, vegetables, and salad for a summer get together on the Business Park of all tenants and families. Everyone who was able to come brought to the gathering a real sense of this community we are all a part of here, and it was so satisfying to see people enjoying our foods – that after all is what we think and feel farming is all about! 

Our next News is due fall on the week of Adrian’s birthday, so you will forgive us if we skip a week and start back with you in the first week of September. Very much in mind of course, Adrian would already have been writing about his experiences of this year’s proms concerts. One concert that we were able to enjoy this last weekend had so many coincidences and links to Adrian in one way or another, that we felt it a fitting end to this week’s news. 

It was the Proms concert where Feliz Klieser made his debut, playing Mozart’s Concerto number 4. One of the pieces of music we listed to most with Adrian in the last days. What an amazing talent Klieser is, and in this concert, he was accompanied by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra – Bournemouth you may remember is where Adrian grew up.  

Listening to the interview with Klieser afterwards, without Adrian to tell us, we had to research who the host was. It turned out to be a Radio 3 presenter, Petroc Trelawny, born in Worcester, but brought up in Cornwall – another link to Adrian, and his Cornish ancestry. Turning, as we do now with no Adrian, to google as the fount of all knowledge, coincidences kept on coming when we read that:  

“In 2014, on the news that the Cornish were to be recognised as a national minority, Trelawny wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “Abroad, when I explain where I am from, the inevitable response is: ‘So you are English.’ ‘No,’ I reply, ‘Cornish.’ I’ll accept British, or European, but being described as English is something that rankles with most Cornishmen.” 

So, we leave the final words to Adrian, from his Blog dated 6th January 2019: 

“In our angst-ridden liberal world of the second half of the last century, the census began asking questions about ethnicity – all of course from the best of intentions – but suddenly opening up a whole range of possible self-definitions; suddenly we were not just English, but heaven knows what. All this still takes me back to our crossing South Africa in 1964, when we were faced with a requirement to fill in such a form. What a nonsense we thought, and I wrote in Celtic, Romano British, Saxon. This was rejected angrily, and I found I was a white. I had always assumed if you were born in England or took up residence here you were English – how naive I was. Nonetheless I cling to the definition espoused by Daniel Defoe, which is not significantly disturbed by recent DNA research, since in the 1700’s, Neanderthal man had not been known (I refer to the present view that we all in the north-west of Europe to a small degree carry Neanderthal genes).  

The True Born Englishman BY DANIEL DEFOE

 Thus from a mixture of all kinds began, 
That het’rogeneous thing, an Englishman: 
In eager rapes, and furious lust begot, 
Betwixt a painted Britain and a Scot. 
Whose gend’ring off-spring quickly learn’d to bow, 
And yoke their heifers to the Roman plough: 
From whence a mongrel half-bred race there came, 
With neither name, nor nation, speech nor fame. 
In whose hot veins new mixtures quickly ran, 
Infus’d betwixt a Saxon and a Dane. 
While their rank daughters, to their parents just, 
Receiv’d all nations with promiscuous lust. 
This nauseous brood directly did contain 
The well-extracted blood of Englishmen.  

Which medly canton’d in a heptarchy, 
A rhapsody of nations to supply, 
Among themselves maintain’d eternal wars, 
And still the ladies lov’d the conquerors. 

The western Angles all the rest subdu’d; 
A bloody nation, barbarous and rude: 
Who by the tenure of the sword possest 
One part of Britain, and subdu’d the rest 
And as great things denominate the small, 
The conqu’ring part gave title to the whole. 
The Scot, Pict, Britain, Roman, Dane, submit, 
And with the English-Saxon all unite: 
And these the mixture have so close pursu’d, 
The very name and memory’s subdu’d: 
No Roman now, no Britain does remain; 
Wales strove to separate, but strove in vain: 
The silent nations undistinguish’d fall, 
And Englishman’s the common name for all. 
Fate jumbled them together, God knows how; 
What e’er they were they’re true-born English now.  

The wonder which remains is at our pride, 
To value that which all wise men deride. 
For Englishmen to boast of generation, 
Cancels their knowledge, and lampoons the nation. 
A true-born Englishman’s a contradiction, 
In speech an irony, in fact a fiction. 
A banter made to be a test of fools, 
Which those that use it justly ridicules. 
A metaphor invented to express 
A man a-kin to all the universe.  

For as the Scots, as learned men ha’ said, 
Throughout the world their wand’ring seed ha’ spread; 
So open-handed England, ’tis believ’d, 
Has all the gleanings of the world receiv’d.  

Some think of England ’twas our Saviour meant, 
The Gospel should to all the world be sent: 
Since, when the blessed sound did hither reach, 
They to all nations might be said to preach.  

’Tis well that virtue gives nobility, 
How shall we else the want of birth and blood supply? 
Since scarce one family is left alive, 
Which does not from some foreigner derive. 

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