June 2018

It has to be said that there is some concern around the governments commitment to giving the rural community and in particular vegetable growers access to seasonal workers that come from places such as Romania and Bulgaria. The vegetable industry require in the region of 80,000 seasonal workers to harvest the country’s vegetable crops, and ourselves in particular just 20. Ever since the Brexit vote this issue has been at the top the agenda, and yet there has been no real commitment or indication that anyone has made any decisions as to how this is all going to play out, so someone had better get their skates on, as the clock is ticking.
Just in case Mrs May and her colleges are in any doubt as to the challenges, the job of harvesting vegetables brings, it might be a good idea to get them down to the farm for a week in their holidays and a little first hand experience will do them no harm.

Jacob Rees Mogg should be sent to cut courgette, no getting out of this Jacob, courgette can only be harvested by hand with a sharp knife, but beware you will find those plants a little prickly!

Boris will be great harvesting sweet corn, he will be able to bumble along, and his blonde mop will blend in nicely with the crop. There is just the chance he might get lost out there in the crop, but he can soon catch up on his bike.

Michael Gove, needs to be brought down to a earth a little, so its green beans for him, a particularly difficult job given it is so close to the ground, particularly when wet. He is on record as saying he needs more productivity from the agriculture sector, so we want you to work particularly hard Michael.

For Mrs May it has to be runner beans, she will need a straight back, for this job, but its not too challenging, remember we only need the straight ones, supermarkets will reject the bendy ones!

They will all need suitable equipment, welly boots for when it gets really muddy. A raincoat that keeps the worst off as you have to keep going, rain or shine?
Suntan oil as when it does get hot you will burn, and will need a big bottle of water as well. Then of course you will need an alarm clock, as you can be starting as early as 5am to beat the worst of the sun.
If Brexit has been the democratic will of the people, to leave the EU, lets just see how Mrs May and her colleges enjoy this new found democracy, and hopefully will quickly learn, that growing vegetables is not some sort of game. It is feeding a nation, and with unemployment at under 1.0% in central Southern England, vegetables don’t harvest themselves.

And for something less political, Open Farm Sunday was a huge success this year, admittedly helped by the weather being perfect. Hampshire Farmers Markets joined forces with Broughton Buffalo at Broughton, a great day for everyone.