Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony Adams County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg Lady Dragons’ season ends with sectional loss to Lynchburg Devils advance in tourney with convincing win over West Union, will face Portsmouth for sectional title Wenstrup selected as Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Adams County 4-H Shooting Sports to hold fund raiser Linda M Howland Nellie B Hayslip Russell E Bailey Gladys M Perdue Commissioners meet in Columbus with DP&L CEO Tom Raga Missing the Dirtrollers The farms that aren’t forgotten Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals

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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