Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek Discover Ohio’s Ancient Cultures during Archaeology Day at Serpent Mound Summer Reading Program ends as new school year approaches Lady Hounds preparing for 2017 volleyball campaign, looking for more improvement A servant’s hands Oh my, nothing better than a sweet tooth Rec Park hosts All-Star Sunday A Saturday night peek at a gridiron future McDowell, McCarty awarded Farm Bureau Scholarships Adams County Medical Foundation awards Dr. Bruce Ashley Legacy Scholarships Your kid on heroin Jerry W Olinger Douglas R Burchett Wayne Cowles Shirley Collins Jack L Yates Wayne Grooms Sr Adams County Building and Loan merging with Southern Hills Community Bank Ahead of Sales Tax Holiday, Attorney General DeWine offers tips for consumers Delores L Cook Harold L Smith Pell, Seas have high hopes for new SSCC campus ‘We prayed and believed it was going to happen’ 4-H Scholarships awarded during Fair Week Showmanship Sweepstakes concludes Junior Fair Competitions Junior Fair Crops are a Premium Show Southern Ohio’s only blackberry farmer wants to make berry pickin’ fun again Challenges ahead for new MLSD Superintendent SAY Soccer celebrating 50 years North Adams hosts Youth Football Mini-Camp Lady Dragons host Soccer Shootout 38 years later, Indians football returns It’s time Ten years and twenty goats later When nobody is watching When a blackberry wasn’t just a cell phone, but delicious Heroin user’s mom says addiction is a disease, not a choice Mary A Wallingford Rickey L Vincent Pauline Ertel William Bryant ACOVSD announces 2017-18 policy for free and reduced lunches What we are made of When summer really arrived Horse project 4-H members head to Ohio State Fair Defender hosts annual Cornhole Tournament George’s Brave Shave’ benefits other Year of planning, work pays off for 2017 fair Local teen opens new business Why can’t you stop? Camp first step in preparation for 2018 Greyhounds on the gridiron Young awarded SEDAB Scholarship Fair hosts Hall of Fame broadcaster Peebles goes back-to-back at the Barnyard The sport of goats

Harvest time, a special time

I was talking to my daughter the other night about how she feels autumn in itself is her very favorite time of the year. This got me to thinking to when I was a boy on our family farm on Fruit Ridge. I was raised in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on that farm and recall how I remembered October. To me the months of September, October, and November, I have always thought of as harvest time. When the tobacco was all removed from the fields and hung in barns, this signaled the time to prepare for the harvest season. Our big task was to pick our corn and get it in the cribs for storage.

Dad planned his harvest by planting his crops as early as weather would allow. He hoped this would give him more favorable weather in the fall along with milder climate to work in and to operate the equipment in. This made the job a little more tolerable to the men and meant less stress on the equipment.

The harvest season is a special time of year. The feel of summer is still in the air yet the days end a little earlier and even though summer clothes still feel more than comfortable, a person can feel the season changing ever so slightly day by day. As September draws to a close the crops go from the common color of green to a dried brown signaling to the farmer that it is time to harvest. As the last items were removed from the gardens and orchards, we turned our attention to harvest.

We picked corn with a one row Wood Brothers’ corn picker. This was pretty much the standard piece of equipment for this job. There were a couple of farmers in the neighborhood who owned two row pickers. This was considered the newest state of the art item of that time. When given the chance I would sometimes linger by those farms and watch and marvel at modern technology. Wow! Twice the harvest in half the time. Would wonders never cease?

With the corn picker was a wagon attached to collect the corn and to hold the corn the wagon held a box bed. In those days Dad would drop pumpkin and squash seeds in the corn planter so that they would grow among the cornstalks. I guess he was multi-tasking. Before the field was picked it was my responsibility to walk through the rows and collect the squash and pumpkins and move them to a safe place until they could be loaded in the truck. Sometimes they would get overlooked as the fields were big and I was little. (My story and I’m sticking to it).

When the corn filled the box bed to a certain point a person would have to ride in the wagon and drag the ears back so more could fit. The plus of this job was you could look at all the land and trees around and since you were sitting higher in the air you had a more panoramic view of fall as it was happening. The down side was when that overlooked pumpkin or squash ended up going through the picker, mashing it to a pulp and sending it up the elevator and on the person in the wagon. Yuck! To this day I am pretty certain my Dad, who was driving the tractor, would see the mashed pulp on its way to the wagon and smiled as we were about to receive.

When all the corn was picked and cribbed, the corn fields were then disced and then we would sow wheat with a grain drill. A wheat crop sowed on the corn field was very important. There were two reasons for sowing winter wheat. The first was that it served as a cover crop. It took root and held the earth in place so it wouldn’t erode and our farm was rolling land and could erode easily. Erosion to a farmer is one of the most devastating losses that he could incur and the loss of valuable top soil could bankrupt him quickly.

Second, the wheat was ready for harvest the following year in early July and this gave the farmer some cash to help him to the cash crop in the winter. From the wheat came the grain and the fodder was baled into straw for bedding purposes. Wheat was more valuable than the average person ever realized. Drilling the wheat in the fields took place in November. By then the fall season had cooled much more and the days grew even shorter. Also by then the trees had lost most of their leaves and the awesome colors were nearly faded away. What I remember about that time was when in a field drilling wheat, it felt as though the world had expanded and I felt smaller and less significant..

In our conversation, my daughter commented on the big bright moons we see in the fall. I have always heard them referred to as Harvest moons. When the harvest time arrived a farmer had to work from day light to sunset. As I have said the days grew shorter faster and time was of the essence. So as the days wore on I would grow weary of the work I was performing but when night would arrive and I would be shutting down the equipment for the day, I would look up and gaze at that big old Harvest moon I don’t think I ever took for granted that it was up there. Also the sounds I could hear at day’s end were different than any other time in the day. I could hear the day coming to a rest and I could hear the night beginning. I know that sounds odd but it’s true. A person can feel and hear the change from day into night and that big moon was and is always in the center of it all.

I guess the fall months are designed to prepare us for winter months and as I have said in past writings I don’t like winter. However one should take time to marvel at all that takes place in the fall of the year. Spending many years working outside and away from city lights, I learned to marvel and be in awe of how God has laid out this world, its seasons, and all we receive from his grand design. All that is sowed is harvested under that big old Harvest moon.

The design is grand!

Rick Houser was raised on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and likes to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

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Rick Houser

The Good Old Days

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