Saturday 27 August 2011

Crop puzzle

We are the first to admit that neither of us is of farming stock. Niall's family all hail originally from the Scottish east coast north of Aberdeen and were involved in fishing. Antoinette's great grandfather was a prosperous grain merchant just outside Rotterdam in the Netherlands; but that's as close as we get.

'whisk' crop
We know our oats from our barley and from our wheat when they grow in the field. Nor are we strangers to alfalfa and red clover. However, the following two crops have us in a real puzzle.

We have no idea what they are...if you do, then we'd love to know!

ripening  'whisk'
Mystery crop 1: the plant heads look a little like whisks and the heads 'flop' over. There's a field of this down at the bottom of our chemin where it meets the D road. We tried to find out about it last year but to no avail. The field had red clover in it earlier in the year and now this again. The grains look almost rice-like.

red 'bottle brush' crop

Mystery crop 2: is about the same size as mystery crop one but it is more upright and looks somewhat like a bottle brush. Its seed/grain is a reddy colour quite early on. Again the actual seed/grain is quite rounded in form.

ripening 'bottle brush'

Answers on a (vitrtual) postcard please!


Susan said...

Whisk is millet, bottlebrush is sorghum. Both do well in the dry, which I assume is why there is more this year. There is always a certain amount of millet grown here, but this year I reckon the acreage has doubled. Sorghum is rarer but you do occasionally see it here and this year I've seen several fields of it. Millet was very widely grown here in medieval times.

wcs said...

I was thinking millet, too, but was certainly not sure. I've seen sorghum, but never knew what it was.

I love millet, but I only find it in the organic grocery at Montrichard.

GaynorB said...

Sorry no idea, but I think you have the answer above!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Susan-- that was quick and impressive. :-) Seen quite a bit of millet. The Sorghum was spotted on the flat open country between the Indre and Cher rivers. We saw a number of fields with it.

@ Walt - odd that it is hard to come by when it's pretty common

@ Gaynor - yup looks like mystery solved! :-)

LindyLouMac said...

Mystery solved:)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@LindyLouMac - and now that we know which crops they are we'll notice them all over the place!

Craig said...

I'm glad others knew, because I didn't have a clue. Like your "favicon" btw!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Craig - thanks recently 'discovered' you could make a favicon. It's a photo I took earlier this summer a field of sunflowers on the banks of the river Aigronne; so it is properly Charnizéen :-)

ladybird said...

The Favicons are fun, aren't they. I've installed one too, but sometimes it pops up and sometime it doesn't. What did I do wrong?Ahhhh, the mysteries of blogger ... Martine

Craig said...

I just did one yesterday with Boris! It takes me a while to cotton on to new fangled technology!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Martine - your ladybird shows up when I access your page.

@ Craig - same here. The 'mini' Boris is cute.