As part of our DT unit on bread, Willow Class today Facetimed a Farmer. Our farmer is called Neil and runs an arable farm called Strathore in Kirkcaldy, Scotland.
When we skyped him, he was sitting in his tractor cab (which he called his office) in the middle of his biggest field. He toured around, pointing out wind turbines, solar panels, beehives and his important money-making crop; spring malting barley.
He has 165 acres of the crop, which was planted in March. With good sunny and warm weather it should be harvested in mid-August. The harvesting takes a couple of weeks. The combine harvester separates the barley from the stalks. The grain is taken to storage to dry out before it is sold to grain merchants.
In a good year, the grain yields about 3 tonnes per acre. This crop makes whisky or beer. But we found malt barley flour in the Seeded Batch Loaf that we taste tested today too!
A percentage of Neil’s land has to be grown with an ecological focus to encourage bees to thrive and pollinate.