Tuesday, 13 October 2015


There is a new programme beginning on TV tonight and for the next four nights.   It is called Harvest and catalogues the autumn harvest of various crops in the UK.

I know I go on about this each year, but it never ceases to amaze me.   Last week they harvested the wheat in the fields opposite our farm.   Within a day of cutting  and leading away the corn they were there collecting up the big bales.   The next day they manured the two fields (the crows loved that) and yesterday they ploughed in the manure.   The fields looked beautiful - brown and so fertile-looking.   Tonight - in the dark and with lights blazing down the field, two units are now sowing next year's crop.   How our ancestors would have gazed in awe.

Last week in our local paper they published a photograph of a local town in the past.   I looked at it - the buildings were more or less the same, but the cars, the clothes, everything else, looked as though they were from antiquity.   Then I looked at the date.   It was taken in 1950.  I was eighteen years old and I thought I was the bees' knees with my hairstyle, my dress, my demeanour.  Oh how time marches on.Oh tempera, oh mores.


Heather said...

Modern farming methods are almost awe-inspiring when compared with those of our grandparent's time. Do you find that people looked more smartly dressed 50 or more years ago than they do today? We seem to have become over informal and bordering on plain scruffy. A sweeping generalisation of course.

A Heron's View said...

In 1950 I was a big seven living in my parents third house, food rationing was still on, the milk was delivered daily by horse drawn cart, the coal delivery came by cart to drawn by a pair of horses. All of the trains were steam, most of the cars were pre-war. Every thing was so very different from today and I believe that people of those times had better manners and were more caring towards each other.

donna baker said...

Oh, I'd love to see that show. Harvest time is a special time even today, but can you imagine how important it was long ago?

Mac n' Janet said...

Harvest time is always fascinating. In 1950 I was quite young living in Kansas City, Missouri and I don't remember it at all, but looking back at pictures, always in black and white, things look very different. I'm with Heron's View, I think people had much better manners back then.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I grew up spending a lot of time at my grandmother / uncle's dairy farm.(Ontario) Within the past 40 years or so, it is the machinery that boggles my mind the most. Farmers now own these huge machines that can take care of so much in so little time. The sprayers with their giant tall tires that make you think you could probably drive your car right underneath them on the road, remind me of something out of Star Wars!
I do love this time of year, though, with fields and orchards being harvested. -Jenn

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

In 1950 I was just 5 years old. Two years later I began to read for pleasure and my favorite book was called Hello, David. It was the story of a little boy who lived on a farm in the country. And then his parents bought another farm closer to the city. (I thought that was strange, even as a seven year old!) But I was fascinated by the differences we saw between the farms and his country school and the one in the city.
I still have a copy, but they have it for sale on amazon. I liked the woman's comment.http://smile.amazon.com/Hello-David-Anderson-Genevieve-Hanna/dp/B000FGHGAG/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1444790482&sr=8-13&keywords=hello+david

Manners were quite different in those days, better I think. But many other aspects of life were much worse for many people. I am glad for those changes.

My grandfather had two brothers with farm in southwest Michigan and we used to go visit them. I loved those vacations although I was rather afraid of the chicken hopping about madly after its head was chopped off......

Rachel Phillips said...

I was watching Harvest when I read your post. Great programme and lots from Eastern England and celebrating farming and farmers. Up north in tonight's. I wasn't born in 1950 oh tempera oh mores you scarlet woman you. I bet you had some fun.

The History Anorak said...

Rationing still in place
Very little work for women
Any woman with a job was paid far less than a man
Straight from school to marriage
No central heating
Chest diseases from coal fires
Polio still rife
Very little home ownership
University entrance limited mainly to middle classes
Homosexuality still illegal
Prostitution still legal
Mixed marriages frowned on
Racism still rife

But everyone was very polite about it!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for adding your comments. Nice to know you remember even though most of you were much younger than me.
I was interested in Heather's comment and shall write a post about it tomorrow, so I will say no more.

the veg artist said...

One of the fields they were in was 50 acres. That was larger than many of the small farms of my childhood - mixed farms of around 20 milking cows, some hens, a pig or two, maybe some calves at various stages of growth, all rotated with corn and hay and usually a large veg garden. Small lanes and gateways, small fields and sheds, and small machinery. The skill of a farmer then was in knowing his soil without science to help him, and the balancing act of time/weather/money.
Many of my family still farm, although most specialise, and one trained as an engineer and designs those huge beasts that can pick from field to packed in 3 minutes! I wonder how it will change in the next 50 years?