I have acquired a lot of new knowledge since living for the past 51 years in Switzerland. I learned to speak a language that I did not even know existed. Even many German people do not understand the Swiss dialect in German and I speak it now every day.
What really surprises me is that I live with the farming year. Just before Winter begins we get the smell in our noses of the natural fertiliser from the animals spread on the ground. Winter is a quiet time, no farm work, the ground is frozen but when Spring is on its way the ploughing begins, preparing the fields for the crops. Then the crops are planted and after a month the first shoots appear. I like the guess work discovering what it actually is. and watching how they develop. Often there are no crops, just grass but that is also a crop. Whilst the corn is ripening and the various vegetable plants are making their underground roots, the grass grows, is cut by the farmer and left to dry in the sun for a day, which is when the farmer hopes it does not rain. The dried grass becomes hay, is gathered, formed into neat shapes and the animals have their winter food.
I had no idea of all of this until I lived in a small village surrounded by farms. It has become part of my life, although we are not farmers. Growing up in London the only wild life I ever saw were pigeons or sparrows sitting on the roof tops and grass was only grown in the parks.
The whole farming processes fascinate me today. I think I was born in the wrong place, but over the last 50 years have caught up on what I missed.