Agriculture

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jimlews
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Re: Agriculture

Postby jimlews » 23 Jun 2020, 5:45pm

The British Isles have NEVER been self sufficient in agriculture.

It has always imported food, as well as exported same.

This is called Trade and Commerce; the means by which nations (and individuals) prosper.

There is an ancient Greek saying; 'be careful what you wish for - it may come true.'

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Cyril Haearn » 23 Jun 2020, 5:47pm

Right again Paulatic

What do you think of the suggestion mentioned above, that rural life hardly changed for 2 000 years until steam and infernal combustion machines were introduced?

Whatabout corn laws, enclosures? Did they make much difference?
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ANTONISH
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Re: Agriculture

Postby ANTONISH » 23 Jun 2020, 5:59pm

mikeymo wrote:
Cyril Haearn wrote:Mentioned this elsewhere, but it is relevant here
Just been reading George Ewart Evans about farming in Suffolk, he asserts that life hardly changed for 2 000 years until steam and infernal combustion machines were introduced

A farm that needed dozens of workers now needs two
Where did the displaced labourers go? Come to think of it, many of them didnae return from ww1 + ww2, -99


Yes, life probably didn't change for 2000 years. For people who worked the land. Then it got a lot lot better with mechanisation. As far less of them were engaged in back breaking, hard, dirty, boring manual labour. And the farms could produce a greater quantity of food, at lower prices, so diets improved.

I gave away my rose-tinted spectacles a long time ago.


I'm afraid the rose tinted spectacles are yours mikeymo.
Displaced farm labourers had to find alternative work - usually industrial work in the large towns and cities.
Conditions were grim, their diet was poor - no chance of a small plot of land to supplement your diet with vegetables still less keep a pig.
Until the truck act was brought in employers were entitled to pay part of the wages in food.
Workers were often expected to buy food from the company shop - the food was often adulterated - e.g chalk added to flour.
The coop movement grew out of this - The Rochdale pioneers.

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simonineaston
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Re: Agriculture

Postby simonineaston » 23 Jun 2020, 6:46pm

jimlews wrote:The British Isles have NEVER been self sufficient in agriculture.
Of course they have. You are simply dicounting any time period that doesn't suit your arguement.
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Paulatic
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Paulatic » 23 Jun 2020, 7:09pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Right again Paulatic

What do you think of the suggestion mentioned above, that rural life hardly changed for 2 000 years until steam and infernal combustion machines were introduced?

Whatabout corn laws, enclosures? Did they make much difference?


I think it’s a sweeping generalisation to say rural life hardly changed for 2000 years. Highland clearances, the enclosure act, climate change must all have changed things. The hills I’ve worked on have been full of evidence of different practices.
In Yorkshire there was a huge high sided stone enclosure built by Cistercian monks quite high on the hill suggesting they farmed animals there. A Roman altar stone beside a burn a short distance away suggests the Romans hunted there. Surrounding these artefacts was evidence of numerous hushing mines and the house I lived in had nine bedrooms suggesting it was built for the miners not for farmers.
Here in Scotland on the hills there is evidence of old enclosures long forgotten. Green patches with evidence of dwellings and buildings long deserted along with areas that have a Lazy Acre and other signs of cultivation long abandoned.
Closer to home, and lower down the slope, here in my village if you look at an 19Century map we had three ale houses on what was a main route through the dale following an old roman road. One of those is a green mound on the roadside the other two domestic cottages There was lots of cottages with a patch of ground and a wee 'add on' where they weaved or crafted. Go back to the 16C and here in the village maybe all we did was Reiving :) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lads_of_Wamphray
So the changes I’ve seen in my lifetime have been huge and I find it hard to believe our ancestors didn’t see similar change albeit maybe not as fast. I’m just old enough to remember visiting the thrashing engine to get thatch for the stacks. The first petrol/ tvo grey fergies arriving in the Dales which worked in the hay fields along side the women in their long dresses and white headdress. The Irish navvies who used to turn up every year and put in drains all done by hand with spade, spit, and trencher. All those practices now done with big machines.
That wet area the Irish used to come and drain was very wet and in my childhood was made dry enough to get a combine harvester and tractors onto. I can see it when I drive over the A66 and on a wet winter day it’s still stood in water. Methods might change but land remains stubborn to change.
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Cyril Haearn » 23 Jun 2020, 7:16pm

Thanks very much Paulatic
The claim about 2 000 years referred to Suffolk

I am summoning up my memories of Wales, as a tourist. There are lots of Hafods, summer dwellings, up high there

The speed of change is what interests me
..
Whatabout Hannah Hauxwell? I think I have one of her books, I must look it out
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mikeymo
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Re: Agriculture

Postby mikeymo » 23 Jun 2020, 7:39pm

ANTONISH wrote:
mikeymo wrote:
Cyril Haearn wrote:Mentioned this elsewhere, but it is relevant here
Just been reading George Ewart Evans about farming in Suffolk, he asserts that life hardly changed for 2 000 years until steam and infernal combustion machines were introduced

A farm that needed dozens of workers now needs two
Where did the displaced labourers go? Come to think of it, many of them didnae return from ww1 + ww2, -99


Yes, life probably didn't change for 2000 years. For people who worked the land. Then it got a lot lot better with mechanisation. As far less of them were engaged in back breaking, hard, dirty, boring manual labour. And the farms could produce a greater quantity of food, at lower prices, so diets improved.

I gave away my rose-tinted spectacles a long time ago.


I'm afraid the rose tinted spectacles are yours mikeymo.
Displaced farm labourers had to find alternative work - usually industrial work in the large towns and cities.
Conditions were grim, their diet was poor - no chance of a small plot of land to supplement your diet with vegetables still less keep a pig.
Until the truck act was brought in employers were entitled to pay part of the wages in food.
Workers were often expected to buy food from the company shop - the food was often adulterated - e.g chalk added to flour.
The coop movement grew out of this - The Rochdale pioneers.


Yes, you are completely right. I wonder what things were like outside Suffolk?

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pwa
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Re: Agriculture

Postby pwa » 23 Jun 2020, 7:43pm

thirdcrank wrote:I believe that sheep farming represents a much larger part of the NZ economy than it does of the UK's. It it's big there and marginal here.

eg NZ scientists developed ways of making modern fabrics from wool - merino - where shearing sheep here is an extra cost and it's only carried out for the welfare of the sheep. What was once a valuable part of this industry is now largely waste.

New Zealand sheep meat production does not involve the inconvenience of having to get a vet out if a sheep is unwell. They have enormous flocks and generally just let the weak ones die. If they have difficulty lambing, tough! It isn't surprising they can do it cheaper.

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Mick F
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Mick F » 23 Jun 2020, 7:45pm

jimlews wrote:The British Isles have NEVER been self sufficient in agriculture.
"Never" is a long long time.

You are completely and utterly wrong if you mean Never.
Mick F. Cornwall

mikeymo
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Re: Agriculture

Postby mikeymo » 23 Jun 2020, 7:45pm

The Outer Hebrides was a good example of "pre-industrial" agriculture, and not so long ago. My father's diet growing up there after WW1 was whatever they could grow or catch. Though abundant nature didn't extend as far as summer footwear. I think he was pretty pleased to get shoes to wear when he left.
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Cyril Haearn » 23 Jun 2020, 7:46pm

In the Hebrides there was weaving too, the crofters could add value locally, +1
..
The dead nz sheep are transported in huge ships, unfortunately economies of scale make this possible. Hard to believe, the refrigerated ships must cost millions so is the mutton produced so much cheaper down there?

I think the NZ sheep are much bigger than the Welsh ones, that makes a difference too :?
..
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mikeymo
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Re: Agriculture

Postby mikeymo » 23 Jun 2020, 8:45pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:In the Hebrides there was weaving too, the crofters could add value locally, +1


There still is weaving in the Hebrides.

I haven't a clue what "could add value locally" means. "The crofters" were making a living any way they could.
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Paulatic
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Paulatic » 23 Jun 2020, 8:56pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:In the Hebrides there was weaving too, the crofters could add value locally, +1
..
The dead nz sheep are transported in huge ships, unfortunately economies of scale make this possible. Hard to believe, the refrigerated ships must cost millions so is the mutton produced so much cheaper down there?

I think the NZ sheep are much bigger than the Welsh ones, that makes a difference too :?
..
Another reason to dislike NZ, after h****s

The NZ lamb sent to the UK used to be small carcass weights very like Welsh mountain sheep. I’ve never bought it but over the 40 years I’ve studied it in the freezer or meat counter I will admit it has improved and looks a lot better now. Unlike Welsh Mountain sheep which still look like the little vermin they’ve always been. :)
I say that with affection Cyril because I used to run them. Back in the headage payment days I could keep two welshies on the same ground as one Blackie. As they both attracted the same payment then the Welshie was a good earner. :wink:
NZ had to expand their market and one of their shames is supplying Saudi Arabia who wanted to buy live lambs. Thousands of lambs penned up in large ship holds not an ideal trade.
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Cyril Haearn » 23 Jun 2020, 9:24pm

mikeymo wrote:
Cyril Haearn wrote:In the Hebrides there was weaving too, the crofters could add value locally, +1


There still is weaving in the Hebrides.

I haven't a clue what "could add value locally" means. "The crofters" were making a living any way they could.

Economics, they could sell wool for x, they could get more for it as jackets
Or even more by retailing the goods in their own shop, Harris Tweed is a premium brand
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Ben@Forest
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Re: Agriculture

Postby Ben@Forest » 23 Jun 2020, 10:15pm

thirdcrank wrote:I believe that sheep farming represents a much larger part of the NZ economy than it does of the UK's. It it's big there and marginal here.

eg NZ scientists developed ways of making modern fabrics from wool - merino -where shearing sheep here is an extra cost and it's only carried out for the welfare of the sheep. What was once a valuable part of this industry is now largely waste.


Not true in the considerable parts of Northern England I've worked in. Yes, fleeces are a minor sideline compared to meat and British wool is usually not used for soft wool clothing; but it goes into wool carpets and tweed production. According to the link below about half our wool is exported to China.

https://makeitbritish.co.uk/fabric-and- ... tish-wool/