Thursday, October 08, 2009

Corn picking

The above picture and the following two pictures and articles were sent to me from Bob Peterson of Brookings. I asked Bob if he would share them with you.

Sunday we went to a corn picking contest the way they picked corn in the old days. The high board was called the bang board. You would drive through the field picking the ears off and throw them against the bang board to keep them from going over the top. The guys that enter the contest see who can husk the most corn in a given time. In the picture it shows some of the teams and guys headed for the field to start the picking. It was a cold wet day but still fun to see all the horses and wagons and the corn picking. They had contest for different ages from 12-80 men and women. SD is the only state that still uses horses to pull the wagons like they used to. The horses get so they know when to move ahead to keep the wagon where it belongs. A 100 bushel a day was about all one man could pick in a day and scoop it off the wagon into a corn crib in a long day.

The bang board

TOM==Sounds okay to me I am just getting mud off my shoes that I had on Sunday. I am 86 years old so I just got in on the end of the hand corn picking. Back then it was open pollinated corn so you were bent over all day long and a hundred bushels a day was a big day. I would guess a good picker could do a lot better in the highbred corn if he could get between the 20 inch rows. Back then we had 42 inch rows. The hired guys that picked got around .05 cents a bushel, maybe a little more if they brought their own gloves. A lot of young farm boys hired out to pick after they got their own or their dad's picked. rap

Bob Peterson

A picture of an antique corn picker. Hard to find parts for it...

Bob has a great sense of humor.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Plowing with a horse in Oaxaca, Mexico

Plowing a bean field with a horse and plow is much harder then I thought it would be. The young farmer made it look so easy; but when he let me try, I found out how much work it really was. I had a hard time keeping the horse moving and the plow in the ground. Sean Sheriff took this film with a flip camera.
Click on the button below the picture.

Plowing in Oaxaca, Mexico

Sean Sheriff, who teaches at a local university here in Oaxaca, Mexico took the following film with a flip camera.

I found out that it is not easy to keep the plow level and the horse going straight and still get something done. As soon as this young farmer gets a few rows plowed, the ladies start planting the beans. (All by hand.) They first say a little prayer, and then off they go planting beans all by hand.

Taking a break with a little farm talk