Coun­try Mouse

Mak­ing the cut

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

NOW that our field is no longer be­ing nib­bled by sheep, the long, sil­very-green grasses shiver in the sum­mer breeze above a rich un­der­storey of pink-and-white clover punc­tu­ated by patches of egg-yolk-yel­low vetch. My hus­band Si­mon’s newly planted cob­nut or­chard and native hedge plants—sur­round­ing and dis­sect­ing our small acreage of land on the Dorset/ Som­er­set bor­der—have grown well thanks to the warm weather. How­ever, the con­tin­u­ing dry spell has ne­ces­si­tated hours of wa­ter­ing and the pur­chase of a spe­cial ‘soaker’ hosepipe that slowly drib­bles out much-needed mois­ture.

The search has also been on—via ebay, trusted friends and lo­cal pa­pers—to find a vin­tage trac­tor with which to cut the grass and cul­ti­vate the ground for the crops Si­mon wants to sow in or­der to at­tract all crea­tures great and small.

Fi­nally, af­ter weeks of de­lib­er­a­tion over the mer­its of three- or four-pot en­gines, diesel ver­sus petrol, age, con­di­tion and the all-im­por­tant price, a de­ci­sion has been made. On Sun­day, we took de­liv­ery of a smart grey Fer­gu­son T20 that be­gan its work­ing life in 1947. By the look of joy and ex­cite­ment on Si­mon’s face, that lit­tle trac­tor is des­tined to help plough the fields and scat­ter for many more years to come. PL

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