Millet’s ‘The Gleaners’, completed in 1857

From Mr Christopher Carr.

Sir, I was driving one afternoon recently in France close to the Swiss border and passed a field of maize that had been harvested about a week earlier for cattle fodder. Much to my surprise there were six men and women gleaning the cobs that had been left by the combine harvester.

The last time I was witness to such a scene was in Mali during the drought of 1984-85. Heaven only knows what this means in the middle of Europe at the beginning of winter.

Christopher Carr, Geneva, Switzerland

Letters in response to this letter:

Small potatoes – but not to me / From Mr Patrik Derycke

Keeping the animals fed until spring / From Ms Gillian Clough

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