Last Friday, 20 April, the mercury hit 27°C and the sky was azure blue. In other words, the ideal conditions to capture a few images of the Triti-Sano cereals that will produce our future flour, at the Moulins Bodson in Villers-l’Évêque…
Safely sheltered inside the plant, the wheat heads are still tiny. “Like a baby in the mother’s womb!” Claude Bodson enthuses. As far as the eye can see, the green fields ripple in the breeze. The rapeseed fields gleam intensely yellow and bring a contrast befitting an impressionist painting.
“It is the most beautiful time of the year. Nature awakens, everything comes to life”, Claude comments. “The weather is fantastic. Too fantastic even! We are not sure that the harvest conditions will be the same!”
A promising year
So far, everything is going just fine for the wheat. “The late season was particularly humid. The soil was soaked with water, but the cereals settled well in the fields” explains Claude.
In winter too, very intense frost snaps ensured the vernalisation of the plant. “The vernalisation is a natural stage in wheat culture. Frost stops the growth of the cereals that enter a lethargic state of which they emerge later, when the temperatures rise.”
And talking about rising temperatures, they certainly are! “Fortunately, I expected that drier period: we gave the plants their first feed at exactly the right time. I anticipated the second feed. As it rained a lot from October to January I felt it would be drier afterwards. Nature always restores what she undoes.” Result: the fields are lush!
Not a done deal yet
Even if the conditions were very good until now, Claude emphasises that nothing’s certain yet. “There are no certitudes in our profession. The ideal would be to have a temperate June with some rain but not too much, then lots of sun at harvest time in late July, early August.”
So you will need a bit more patience to taste the result of the 2018 harvest in our bread, waffles and chouquettes…
Photos : Karl Delandsheere