Picture this. Another freezing morning, and another day of unfreezing water pipes with the forecasters predicting at least 10 days of similar weather. Oh the joys of keeping livestock in the winter!
After the first hour outside, feeding and watering animals, welcome bowls of hot porridge beckon with the all important mugs of tea in front of the rayburn and the first chance of the day to thaw out frozen fingers and thumbs. For some strange reason it is my thumbs that are playing cold and dead first this year.
Knowledge there is a plenty in this farming family and just as a spoonful of delicious porridge, mixed with farm produced honey, is to be eaten the contents of the spoon are examined by the qualified agronomist at the end of the table and the one darker grain sitting on my spoon amongst the creamy, steaming porridge is identified as an imposter.. not an oat but a cleaver, a weed seed. Cleavers are also known as sticky beak and they have very sticky eaves and small round sticky seeds.
Not deterred by less than 100% pure porridge oats I ate the offending seed, indeed I have eaten many before, but no one has ever turned breakfast into an agronomy lesson. For those who are wondering agronomy is the science of crops.
The next discussion was how batches of oats vary, from one bag or box to another as the porridge made yesterday was slightly runny compared to usual and exactly the same quantities were used. 1 to 3 oats to milk, or water as individual family members prefer. I prefer 100% milk to make mine, it lasts me longer right through to lunch. Jethro has just water in his batchbut has 2 bowls in the morning 2 hours apart.
We are having roast lamb with vegetables from the garden for lunch and I am just wondering what science lesson over lunch we may expect next.
PS This farm grew porridge oats for Mornflake last year as a break crop in the crop rotation on the arable land.