For you farm gals: When does the "Harvest" begin? and Harvest Moon question. - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-18-2008, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For all of you who have some farm education and/or experience, this city girl need to learn a few things from you

Is the day of the "Harvest Moon" the day when farmers would BEGIN bringing in their crops, or when they would END bringing them in? Or was it just a day in the middle of harvesting that brought them extra light to work by?

I am homeschooling my son next year, and I want to plan a week where we talk about harvesting, the Harvest Moon, fall crops, corn, etc.

Oh! I almost forgot, where does wheat harvesting and threshing come into play in all of this? It is a fall crop, right? embarrased to say that I'm not really sure. So many crafts for fall involve wheat that I figured it falls in here someplace!

Thanks for your help!

Amy ~ SAHM to DS (9) DD (5) and DS (2) And  expecting a  stork-girl.gif  late May 2012!


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Old 08-18-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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I grew up on a farm. I'd say that the harvest moon is the end as most people around here are starting or have started harvest. In a good year harvest here is done by the end of September, but that honestly hasn't happened in many many years. Harvest normally ends in the middle of October when the harvest moons are typical. They are larger so they do bring more light, but they're orange too. When we were kids harvest usually went until 3-4am, they'd grab 1-2 hours of sleep & then go out again by 5-6am.

People don't thresh anymore, modern swathers & combines have taken over that lengthy process. Most wheat is harvested in the fall, the exception being Winter Wheat.

Crops are harvested as they're ready, 1 wheat field can be ready before the one next to it so they'll skip over & do the oats, barley, etc. Canola/Rapeseed is often later to harvest because it has to sit after being swathed whereas the other crops can be swathed & then combined immediatly after(in late fall, it is literally after because they're running out of time). Wheat is often done first, but not always.

If you want to find out more about harvest & such research Canadian Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving is the 2nd Monday in October. Canadian Thanksgiving is the celebration of the harvest being over & the bounty that was brought in from the crops.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:01 AM
 
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Okay, you're talking about wheat harvest.

My family would just fire up the combines in mid to late July when the wheat was ripe and had a low enough moisture content (so it doesn't mold or go rancid in storage). Depending on how much acreage they had to harvest, it could take up to 6 weeks with 2-3 combines and 3-5 trucks. They didn't bother with working by the moon as far as I can tell - when you have almost half a county's worth of land, well, yeah. Time is of the essence, at least for them.

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Old 08-19-2008, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank-you so much for the education ladies! I learned alot and am interested in researching more!

Amy ~ SAHM to DS (9) DD (5) and DS (2) And  expecting a  stork-girl.gif  late May 2012!


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Old 08-19-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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Shine on, shine on harvest moon...

(couldn't help it!)
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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I don't know much about harvesting, but as I understand it the Harvest Moon was just time farmers would use during almost full and full moons to get extra work done. I was surprised to see combines out at 10pm when we moved to a rural area! Of course they do have headlights too
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
I was surprised to see combines out at 10pm when we moved to a rural area! Of course they do have headlights too
We wouldn't have dinner until 9-10pm most of the time. Then they'd get up at 5-6am and start the day again. Long, long, hard days.

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Old 08-20-2008, 04:12 AM
 
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We wouldn't have dinner until 9-10pm most of the time.
If they were harvesting near my parents yard we'd take the meal out to the field & eat off the back of the truck & on lawn chairs in the stubble. If they were closer to my uncle's yard my aunt would take the meal out.

pre-radio/cels the lights on the combines were also used to signal to the grain truck drivers that they were full & needed to unload. I miss those days. I do not miss sitting on the small 1ft section of "cushioning" of the tractor while they harvested, TG tractors/combines are bigger now & often come with a 2nd seat.lol
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Old 08-20-2008, 05:40 AM
 
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If they were harvesting near my parents yard we'd take the meal out to the field & eat off the back of the truck & on lawn chairs in the stubble. If they were closer to my uncle's yard my aunt would take the meal out.

pre-radio/cels the lights on the combines were also used to signal to the grain truck drivers that they were full & needed to unload. I miss those days. I do not miss sitting on the small 1ft section of "cushioning" of the tractor while they harvested, TG tractors/combines are bigger now & often come with a 2nd seat.lol
No kidding, we sat on the "emergency box" inside the combine next to the driver, with our feet pressed against the floor or bottom of that giant front window.

Yeah, we'd take lunch out to them around 10am in their coolers (more like 2-3 lunches so they could chow when hungry), then a lot of the time me and Grandma or me and my aunt would head out in our dirt clothes with a treat for the guys around 3-5pm (or the year I worked harvest, we just sent out a giant cooler of goodies with whichever guy came in to unload at the elevators around that time of day). Ice cream, cold watermelon, whatever Grandma or my aunt had in the bunkhouse or farmhouse. Last time I rode a truck was when I was pregnant with my 4.5yo - they didn't dare stick me on a combine in the middle of nowhere. Good times (I was about... 8-10yo in that photo). At least I'm not hormonal and crying about it right now. Maybe later...

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