18 OCTOBER 1940, Page 12

Many Harvests

We have enjoyed a succession of excellent harvests : hay (is it still called haysel anywhere?), plums, vegetables of all sorts, especially potatoes, and now sugar beet. It will not thrill the general public to know that the sugar content is particularly high ; but the fact illustrates a very rare quality in this plant. It is even better designed than the maples, which also are sugar-. makers, to catch and digest the rays of the sun, and by this means to work the greatest miracle of the world. The percentage of sugar may amount to zo per cent. and more. One of the few animals that seems to have discovered this virtue is the pheasant. A common sight in East Anglia, where both the birds and the roots abound, is an assemblage of pheasants along any road over which sugar beet has been carted. The crushed pulp is as much to their liking as a fallen tomato. It is a pity that the extraction of the sugar is too difficult a process for the common householder.