Monday, 23 July 2007

Borage and terns

Just off the A20 at Hougham there's a field of a spectacular blue crop, or maybe a serious weed problem. Eventually my curiosity got the better of me, and I had to stop to see what it is - and it turned out to be borage.

One mystery therefore gave way to another - why would the farmer want to grow so much of a crop which (while I know it's a medicinal herb, being called officinalis) has no commercial use that I know of.

The net comes to the rescue as always, and it transpires that borage is a high value crop grown to produce starflower oil for health food supplements and skincare products. As it needs plenty of bees to polinate it, special beehives are often brought in to do the work, resulting in an individually-flavoured honey - I'll look out for it!

The leaves taste of cucumber and are used in salads, and can also be a pleasant addition to a jug of Pimms.

On another matter, the coast is resounding to the harsh calls of the Sandwich terns, which are starting to leave their nesting sites (like Rye Harbour) to fish over a wider area. Their 'kerrick's
can be heard surprisingly far inland if the wind is in the right direction. They often provide a marvellous sight off Kingsdown, diving into the sea after fish.

1 comment:

Tony Morris said...

Nice sarnie, I suppose they come from along the coast and not from over the straits, there are big colonies near Calais.