Today, a few more crops from my drive south to London last week, well south of the valley. Do you recognize this first one?
Although I've seen smaller plots of this crop, I've only ever seen one farm growing it, here on fairly heavy clay soil. The open row was a line of short stunted corn, apparently planted to catch blowing snow in the winter, but knocked down more recently. We drive past this farm every time we head south.
It's a crop that sometimes needs irrigation, at least on these soils. It's grown in rotation, and from what we've seen it requires manual harvesting and then has to be dried.
Not guessed yet? It's the bulb at the base that is harvested, and the Head Gardener here has a reputation in our community for the delicious varieties of this that she grows right here in our garden. Yes, it's Garlic! You can see the curlicue ends of the scapes (or what would become flower stalks), which need to be cut off to keep all the growth going to the bulb at the base. These are the only big fields of Garlic we've ever seen.
There were also fields of wheat, a lot more mature than any I've seen here in the valley. I thought I detected a hint of golden colour in this field, quite close to London.
You can see the grain at the top of the stalks quite easily; this will turn golden yellow before harvest in July.
And of course there was lots of corn; this field was shoulder-high! Around the valley it's only 2 feet yet at the most. Heat units make a big difference to corn.
And this field in front of the windmills just north of Arthur really surprised me. We have lots of hayfields around the valley; it's our single most common crop. But I have never before seen a field of hay where the bales have been wrapped individually and left sitting on their ends while still in the field. But it did make an interesting picture!