Sunday, April 03, 2011

Our local oil field

This is that field of colza (rape) that I told you about last week. It's in the river valley down below our house. Callie and I walk around it on our afternoon walks and have been watching it grow since late winter. Now it's in full bloom and glorious looking.

Beyond the colza field you can see a small vineyard parcel; beyond the woods is the Cher River.

Last year this field was planted in wheat. That's also a beautiful crop as it goes from deep green to brown just before harvest. But this year it's colza, grown for its seeds which are made into oil. In North America it's called canola oil.

We won't be walking this route much longer. As the grape vines around our house bud out, the growers electrify the fencing between the vineyards and the woods to help keep the deer from eating the new shoots. During the fall and winter, the fence is powered down and we can step over it to walk down through the woods. We can still get down there by walking a larger loop and that's fun to do once in a while in summer.


  1. Fields of acid yellow hayfever :-)

  2. I love rape seed oil fields in bloom. They offer such a vibrant colour.

  3. @Susan, do you think people really have allergies to oilseed rape pollen. I know I don't — it doesn't bother me at all. Other kinds of pollen do, but none are really local.

  4. For me this colour is too strong - its odour is also overpowering. An alien in the landscape.

  5. I find the vast expanses of vivid yellow uncomfortable to look at.

  6. OOPS ! I meant in the fields, not in your photo, which is, as usual, super.

  7. A little extra walking is good for the heart.
    Your Friend, m.

  8. the fields of yellow really stand out when seen from the air....i think they're gorgeous

  9. Lovely field, and the trees are budding out behind. Spring is busting out all over.

    How do you know when they've turned the power on to the fences?

  10. Beautiful pic! I hadn't heard the term "colza" before. Driving through the Canadian prairies, it's just stunning to see millions of acres of canola in bloom.

    How about a botany history lesson? "Canola" is a specific cultivar of rapeseed developed in Canada. (Canadian oil, low acid.) The name was changed in the late 70s for improved marketability.

  11. In bed at 9:30? You really are country folk.

  12. Here is southern California in the spring we have wild mustard plant, it looks a bit like your photo. It is all over the hills and puts on quite a show. BTW when Canola oil was first being sold in the U.S. a few decades ago it was called "Rapeseed Oil" it didn't have a nice sound so they came up with Canola.

  13. Colza and sunflowers are our color splotches around the Loire Valley. It's good that they don't bloom at the same time.

  14. ckb,
    You are forgetting the poppies. Vast fields of red are stunning!

  15. susan, sorry they make you suffer.

    craig, it really is pretty on the rolling hills around here.

    john-san, I like the vibrant yellow, especially since it blooms so soon after the drab winter.

    jean, you're not used to such bright stuff up there, are you! ;) Do you mind the fields of sunflowers and poppies?

    mark, so true!

    melinda, I guess they would! I've never seen them from the air.

    diogenes, one way is if you actually see the wires hooked into the battery (they use car batteries to power the fences). One grower told me that he would tie a rag around the pole near where we walk when he turns the power on.

    buddy, I guess they grow it on a much larger scale in Canada! I looked up the history a few years ago when I did my first blog post about canola; very interesting!

    starman, and we don't even have a cee-ment pond!

    mike, I remember the mustard in the vineyards up in Napa and Sonoma.

    cheryl, who could forget those? :)


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