Presented by Andy Fussell.
Andy, a local farmer, hosts this show dedicated to the farming life.
August – This month, Andy is busy with the harvest. He talks about harvesting oilseed rape, the basis for his Fussell Fine Foods products, especially his alternative to olive oil, cold-pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil, a product for which he has become known across the region.
We start the show in the massive storage sheds – capable of holding many hundreds of tone of rapeseed, wheat, barley and the other ingredients needed to produce the foodstuffs for animals and humans. The rapeseed harvest is in full swing and over 25 tons of seed is being dried every hour to a precise temperature for storage of up to two years on the farm.
The drying equipment, installed during the re-build of Andy’s ‘yard’ two years ago, is fully computerised, down to where in the sheds each load is dropped from the driers.
Then it’s out to the fields to see how the fields we looked at in the winter have been transformed from sheep pasture to cornfield – with a standing crop of maize towering over our heads.
The emerging cobs look like Barbie dolls with long, silky hair as they ripen into fodder for Andy’s dairy-farming neighbours. “Humans can eat it,” says Andy, “but unless you pick it just right, it tastes horrible!”
The ever-entrepreneurial farming community – exploiting their land and crops for extra income, have started a ‘maize maze’ business, with farmers sometimes programming their hi-tech seed-planting kit to create a maze in the crop as it grows. The fields are then opened up to the public and you and your kids can get lost in 8-foot high maize plants for a few quid.
As we drive back to the farm, Andy talks about Brexit and crop subsidies – revealing that without the subsidies, most farmers would not make a profit on their crops, such are the demands from the many producers, processors, packagers, transport operators, marketers and wholesalers along the way to the supermarket.
During the programme, Andy plays some of his favourite tracks from Ed Sheeran and Muse.
Sundays at 1500, Thursdays at 0700.
Fussels Fine Foods is a FromeFM Community sponsor.