Harvesting Corn, One Ear at a Time

The day the cavalry arrived


| February 2009


Is it possible that tens of millions of ears hanging from Iowa cornstalks were once taken, one at a time, by hand?

Our farm was too small for half-mile rows. It was sobering enough to stand in the chilly frostiness of a November morning and look down a quarter-mile row.

We had already been up at dawn, done the chores, milked the cows, separated the milk and had a good breakfast. We had harnessed the teams, hitched them to the wagons and put several extra pairs of shucking gloves into a box nailed on the side of the wagon.

We wore those gloves until they were rags. They were made with a thumb on each side so both sides could wear out evenly. When they became so tattered that the rough corn kernels scraped our hands to bleeding, we turned them over and used the other thumb.



On special days, our mother put a red apple or two among the gloves. Waiting for the treat of a cold, crisp apple at the end of two rows helped make the ears fly. With our patient team plodding down the road to the field, we stood inside a wagon – a high bang board to our right. Ears of corn, thrown against the bang board, fell down into the wagon.

Kids often got the old, battered wagons with sheets of tin nailed on the floor to cover weak boards and more coffee-can lids or other tin scraps tacked over holes in the bang board. Some of the tin might be hanging in shreds from the long hammering of a stream of ears.














SUBSCRIBE TO FARM COLLECTOR TODAY!

Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.




Facebook Pinterest YouTube

Classifieds


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265