Trisha from Bird Table News has kindly shared her brother’s farming memories with me. Bruce has written a number of farming stories which I am going to post. This post is entitled 19 Fine Days and was first published in the Burton Fleming newsletter in 2004. Bruce’s farming memories will not only transport you back to 2004, but the 1950’s and 1960’s, so sit back and enjoy the trip down memory lane….
“Recently on the radio I heard comments that farmers would have great difficulty in completing the harvest before the end of September if the weather didn’t improve and hold up. It has surely been a miserable summer for them and everyone else. Hearing this conversation reminded me of a saying I heard when I was able to help out on the farm during the late 50’s, early 60’s. We only tend to remember the blue skies and sunshine but there were also times when comments and concerns were expressed about bad weather and the late harvests back in those days. It would have been during one of those wet summers that Maz, who helped out on the farm during the harvest, tried to console people that if the harvest wasn’t home by the end of September it would always get done in October.
“There’s always nineteen fine days in October”, he would say with a certainty that nevertheless was no consolation to the farmer.
Of course in those days the reaper cut the corn into sheaves which had to be stooked in the field then led home to be stacked. If it rained there was nothing at all to dry the corn or straw except the wind and sunshine. Persistent wet weather meant that the sheaves still laying on the ground had to be turned inside out, each one by hand until they were all dry enough to be stooked. The stooks, if sodden, had to be re-stooked with the inner side facing outwards until the sheaves dried out and, of course, the corn stack had to be left dry always. To us kids they were marvellous summers but to the farmer in those days nineteen fine days in October must, at times, have been a Godsend.”
19 Fine Days By Bruce.
If you have a farming story, memory or farm visit that you would like to share then please send me your story and I will happily include it on a guest appearance post.