Harvesting Oats the Old-Fashioned Way

The traditional way of harvesting oats was a strenuous, labor-intensive process.

Left to right: A hand-made forked tool of European origin patched together with tin and horseshoe nails; an unidentified fork that might have been used for feeding hay or straw into a hand-tie baler (hay press); a coke fork (front) more likely used to scoop rocks in the Ozarks; two-, three- and four-tined pitchforks; a pitchfork whittled out of a wild cherry limb; a five-tined pitchfork hand-made from white oak; and a five-tined manure fork held by someone who really knows how to use it, Mike Rookstool.
Photo by Ron McGinnis