Posted: 18/08/2016 at 17:59
I'm old enough to remember when the farmers burned the stubble fields - as I got older (11/12 ish) Pa would allow me to help him - I remember him teaching me how to gauge the direction and strength of the wind - where the fire-breaks should be ploughed, the safe place to place the tractor and bowser of water in case of emergency. Then he would light a row of straw and pick up some burning straw with a pitchfork and take some from row to row, igniting them as he went. As soon as he knew I could be trusted to do exactly as I was told he allowed me to do a little of the same.
And then we would sit with our sandwich supper and watch the field blaze as the sun went down. Soon the field was just long stripes of charcoal ash and the flames died down. Afterwards we would walk all around the field ensuring that the flames had all gone out before we left the field It was an amazing process to take part in and to watch ... but I'm glad it's not done any more. Not all farmers were as conscientious as Pa and much damage was done, not to mention the harm to invertebrates etc.