Last weekend I went to the Comice Agricole in a nearby village. A simple affair with cows and horses, huge modern tractors and a few side stalls, all the locals had sat down at long tables and eaten lunch. I was there mainly to look at the Breton horses, and maybe photograph a few old tractor relics.
This year in Brittany a horse died on a beach overcome by fumes from rotting seaweed. It is shocking that the cause is almost certainly the use and abuse of spraying fields with chemicals. Brittany grows vast amounts of maize, mostly for animal feeds. The chemicals end up in the rivers and then of course the sea, hence this bizarre accident when the horse died.
Farming has changed, they now work into the night on enormous machines that thunder through the villages as late as 3.30am. When my Dad worked at harvest time the days were long but they finshed before darkness fell.
The French government has offered to help pay the bill to clean up the beaches, but prevention can be the only cure.
We are not content to harvest a few thistles, all must be eradicated but at what cost.
The Sharp Mechanical Thistle
With the recent credit munch (stolen from Henry the Dog)many people cannot afford to purchase organic, so what is the solution? Are those people who eat meat, or milk, or cheese consuming chemicals too, I think they are.
The French word for thistle is chardon (as in Chardonnay)
The French word for chemicals is chimique.