Kirton growers writes in praise of his irrigator – or a queen’s panniers

Andrew Dennis.
Andrew Dennis.
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Bird-like, wide spreading, framework of silver filigree. It reminds me of one of those weird outfits worn by society ladies in the 18th century – Queen Charlotte put one on for her 1781 portrait by Thomas Gainsborough, writes Andrew Dennis.

Whether queen or commoner, damsel fly or sky rocket, what they have in common is this. Had they stood beneath what they resemble, the 50m boom of our Briggs R4/1 hose reel irrigator, they would’ve got soaked.

I’m watching it now as it marches up and down the beetroot rows depositing a haze of water droplets onto the sea green vegetation below. It’s quite amazing, this semblance of a passing storm. The leaves close round and ingest the cool water; platoons of speckled beets swell in the wake of the good angel. The marvel is that in the morning you scarcely know it’s been. All tracks have vanished. Not a footprint.

This is why I love our irrigator. It travels lightly and silently; its action is focused, its head intent upon the earth, pointing towards the soil as if in awe.

Its literary equivalent might be Richard Jefferies who describes blades of grass in a way that makes them enthralling. If you like lying in a meadow looking up into the sky, oblivious to the beetle tickling your toe (because you’re barefoot), or to the ladybird so close to your eye her spots resemble cumulus clouds, then either Jefferies is for you, or you’re Buddha.
Be still, my friend, be still.