living off the land

Bill Wheaton

This is the farmer.


This is the crop of oilseed rape that the farmer is growing.


This is the pigeon that was eating the crop of oilseed rape that the farmer is growing.


This is the Pigeon &  Rose Hip (sort of bolognaise) sauce that was made using the breast of the pigeons that were eating the crop of oilseed rape that the farmer is growing.


And who ate that sauce? Well, of course the farmer ate the Pigeon & Rose Hip (sort of bolognaise) sauce that was made using the breasts of the pigeons that were eating the crop of oilseed rape that the farmer is growing.

by the time I got my camera out, most of them had flown away, but a few pigeons over The Ley this morning

As ever, we are battling with pigeons eating the oilseed rape crop. The pigeon shooters are out in force, flags wave about on sticks, the gas guns bang intermittently and next week we’ll vary the pattern by putting out some scarecrows. Every morning as I walk up through The Ley, there’s a fluttering of wings as the pigeons rise from the field where they’ve been eating the tender green leaves of the oilseed rape. They wheel around in the sky and float down to perch in the trees around the field, waiting until the coast is clear so they can hop down again and have their fill. Left alone, the pigeons will eat the crop leaving nothing but bare ground so for a while, every day is Pigeon Patrol Day. The bonus is that pigeons make a tasty meal – pan fried and served with green salad, made into pigeon burgers or used for pies and casseroles.

14 thoughts on “living off the land

  1. Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    Such a witty post, Anne! Pigeons are a not to be underestimated nuisance. The ones round here are about twice the size of their urban cousins and you and we know why! I don’t like the idea of shooting them much and even less of dismembering them afterwards though I don’t have the same scruples with grey squirrels or rats at least as far as the first bit is concerned. Totally illogical I know. Apparently squirrel, (the hindquarters principally I think), makes a very nice casserole but I am afraid I have not been able to bring myself to make oven-ready any that D has picked off! E x


  2. Fiona says:

    Great post Anne. We have a similar problem here with our lucerne, though the blasted kangaroos, plain turkeys and ducks that feast upon it are all protected in this country of ours! As I drove through it yesterday I wondered if I could establish some form of eco-tourism right there in our lucerne paddock showing off the incredible diverse range of wildlife all living off what we need to make hay from. Hope you enjoyed your feed of pigeon as much as they’ve been enjoying theirs of oilseed rape.


    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      Kangaroos, plain turkeys and ducks make our pigeons look a bit tame. You should put your wildlife on YouTube – might be a hit and let everyone know what you’re up against. At least we can eat our plump pigeons.


  3. walnut95 says:

    love the link from each photo to the next one, if only people realised how good pigeon, rabbit etc is, its tasty and its free once you get permission if your on someone else’s land,


      • walnut95 says:

        yes i did, i know Simon the ferreter well, amazing countryman, he is awesome at catching rabbits. Comes to our local show each year and demonstrates in the countryside area.


  4. Liz Troy says:

    Mmmm…. Pigeon and Rose Hip Bolognaise. Hope I don’t sound too ungrateful if I have fingers crossed that there won’t be any of that left in the freezer to feed to the aussie visitors at Christmas time.


    • jonorman says:

      How very brave to leave this comment Liz! You do know that she might still serve you up Pigeon and Rose Hip bolognaise but will now just be vague as to what meat it is don’t you? She’s served me up “oh it’s just chicken” once too often for me to trust her.


      • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

        Liz knew I was going to be away and wouldn’t be able to reply. Obviously there is plenty of sauce in the freezer that can be disguised in many ways. Apart from Christmas dinner, those Australians just won’t be sure if that’s what they’re eating.


  5. knitsofacto says:

    A pigeon burger eh, maybe you should persuade the locals to take turns to walk through the rape fields at intervals in the day and pay them with a pigeon feast. Or get a whippet … keeping those birds in the air would keep a whippet happily employed for hours – unless they were distracted by a rabbit – and they’d do little damage to the crop, they are very light with tiny feet and spend most of their time airborne (the whippets that is) !

    Seriously, I know what a nuisance pigeons are, our farmer friends here are suffering too, you have my sympathy.


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