June 12, 2024

From the Pastures: Travel opportunity

The rain in the past few days has really helped all plants and crops here in northern Illinois. June was very dry. Hopefully, the July rains will be enough to get the crops growing again. Looking at our pasture today, it has returned to all green. In June there were brown spots. We do not have too many sheep grazing anymore so the pasture should be good through the rest of the summer.

In June I had the opportunity to travel to Denmark. I spent several days in Copenhagen and traveled by train to Aarhus. The distance between the two cities is a three-hour train ride through the Denmark countryside. It was interesting to see the agriculture along the train route. The majority of the crops growing were wheat. They also grow some barley, oats and turnips. Some of the Danish people I met said they also grow a lot of timothy grass and export the seed.

Denmark was also experiencing lower-than-normal rainfall. I saw some small cattle herds on the trip, but no sheep. Sheep are not very common in Denmark. I did see lamb on several restaurant menus, but it was imported from New Zealand.

Copenhagen is a very clean city. There are more bicycles than people. It seemed like everyone rode bikes everywhere they went. Some bicycles had wooden carts on the front where the kids would ride or people would put groceries. At a couple of the restaurants we went to, all the chairs had sheepskin pelts on them for added warmth and comfort.

I was able to take a day trip across the sea to Sweden. In one of the shops there were several beautiful Gotland sheep pelts. I purchased a lovely light gray single pelt. Happy it fit in my suitcase. I also traveled to Ireland on the return home. Next month, I will share some findings in Dublin.

Enjoy the county and state fair season.

Jane Zeien

Jane Zeien

Belvidere, Ill.