I 've learnt how to zoom on news that will really stirr interest in my readers. For instance, this piece of farming machinery, above. It's a prototype. Four samples, no more, are to be found in France. One of them just round the corner from my place.
The farmers around here often work for "seeds makers" (farming seeds). They grow acre of leeks, onions, carrots, parsley, just for their seeds. Now, seeds are difficult to harvest. When mature, the seeds of each plant must be collected without delay. If not, they will be scattered by wind and rain. The farmers have to hire dozens of field hands over a very short period of time to meet this challenge. But one day, my farmer, pictured above, heard of a clever colleague, on the other side of France.
The guy has developped a prototype to solve precisely this problem, in his backyard. Attached to a tractor, an automatic sickle neatly cuts the plants at neck level and send the precious seeds tho a pick up, seen on the right hand side.
My farmer jumped in his car and crossed France to secure one. He is very happy with it. The locals are furious. Seeds harvesting used to be a traditionnal summer job for high schoolers who lived nearby. On this photographe, the farming innovation did a demo for me, in a leeks field.