An Orkney Autumn Scene

By Bernie Bell

At the front of our house we have a wildflower meadow, with paths and a spiral mown into it.

Each autumn, The D Team (aka Dean & Doug) come and strim the grass, rake it up, and take it to our neighbours for their piggies. Initially as bedding – then – the piggies eat their bedding – then – the neighbours – eat the piggies!

A productive cycle of grass management and providing food. Nothing wasted, everyone happy – including the pigs, who have a grand life, and a clean, swift death.

The D Team had got to the stage of raking the grass into heaps, when the light started to go, so they left it to finish off on the next fine day.  I looked out, and it reminded me of an old-fashioned hay-making scene – getting the grass into little heaps, for the cart to come and take it to be made into a hay–rick.  I remember that happening on my Aunt & Uncle’s farm – the farm was too small to warrant machinery, everything was done by hand.  I took a picture because the scene reminded me of the old ways of farming, then I thought it might bring back memories for other folk, too.

spiral of mown grass Bell

The light, the hayfield, the leaves on the bushes turned to brown, the year, turning – an autumn, Orkney day.  We’re still waiting for the next fine one!

NB – The D Team are available for garden work  – call  Dean on 751 487 or email on

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