A POEM A DAY - OUT OF TIME



The countryside around my home in Eastern Spain is changing with small, family based agriculture being abandoned as young people give up working the land. This is due to a number of factors, rural depopulation as people find work in towns, the unsustainable costs of production as the financial reward is so low it costs more than is earned to grow crops and a change in the culture. Family grown food is not as valued as it was in times of hardship and tending the land after work and at weekends is not attractive for the younger generation as their parents age and are not able to keep up the physical work. 

This has led to terraces and fields all over the region growing wild as olives, almonds and oranges are left to nature and the land is waist deep in grasses, fennel and wild shrubs and young trees. It will be interesting to see how this process develops, whether there will be political support for local, small scale agriculture and if it ever becomes profitable again, whether the young people could be attracted back to rural areas to work the land. 

The poem's title also refers to the unseasonal blossom, normally seen in early February. As climate change affects the seasons here flowers are seen at odd times of year. This will also have an effect on agriculture as changes in rainfall, heat and new pests increase the uncertainty of a decent crop and the consequent strain on the farmers. 






© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved. 

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