Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances

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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