Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Barley for the Beasts

By late May the barley in the fields here is turning whiskery yellow and easy to distinguish from the wheat. It seems to me that farmers here grow as much barley as wheat, but before the ears start to form, I can't tell the difference. The barley is grown as stock food and will be harvested in July after the canola but before the wheat. The farmer will alternate the crop with sunflowers or maize.

Barley is a beautiful crop, rippling and undulating in the wind. I much prefer it to canola, which is ugly and smelly for most of the season, or even sunflowers, which have a much shorter season of glory.
French Expressions: Mon ancienne voiture = my previous car; ma voiture ancienne = my classic/vintage car; ma vieille voiture = my old car (as in aged).


  1. Don't forget the increasing amount of Spelt being grown locally...
    mainly Petit Epeautre, the short stalked version...
    looks just like Barley...
    but the plant has an overall blue'iness...
    rather similar to the colour of a healthy leek!
    And seems rather stiffer standing... you don't get quite the same "floatiness" across the field in a light breeze.

    1. Are you sure it's spelt? There seems to be more whiskery wheat being grown, but I don't think it's spelt. The diagnostic for barley is that the head bends down.

  2. Congratulations for the accuracy of the French expressions which can be somewhat confusing for a non-native speaker.

    1. P.S.
      Two of the most often cited examples of the same adjective preceding or following a noun are: un grand homme and un homme grand i.e. a famous man and a tall man. The other one being une grosse fille and une fille grosse i.e. a big or fat girl and a pregnant girl. On the other hand, un gros homme and un homme gros mean exactly the same thing i.e. a big or fat man. All this is what they call the genius of the language!