Cabbage Harvesting Has Come a Long Way


| 9/5/2017 10:51:00 AM


Tags: October 2017, Field Notes, Kurt Heyman,

tool

tool

I was very interested in the picture of a harvesting implement on Page 7 of the August 2017 issue of Farm Collector. We used a similar tool in the 1960s and ’70s. Our family raised kraut cabbage for Stokely Van Camp in Norwalk, Ohio. At first we cut cabbage into two windrows (four rows of cabbage each, then we drove a truck in between and used three-tine pitchforks to throw the cabbage onto the truck). Cutting (if the cutter was sharp) was relatively easier, although it took a little more skill to cut just right as to not include too many leaves.

Then, in 1969, Dad purchased a cabbage loader that loaded one windrow consisting of two rows. It had a spiked wheel that dropped the cabbage into an elevator pulled behind the truck. When the front got full, the hitch would be extended so that the cabbage would be dropped farther back into the truck. Cutting was easier because only two rows were in the windrow instead of four.

In 1984 we purchased a pull-type 2-row cutter-loader. It had a lot of roller chains, but worked relatively well. In 1999, we purchased a 3-point hitch cutter/loader that doesn’t have any roller chains: Everything is direct-driven by hydraulic engines built by Tom Stilen in Wisconsin that will load about 20 tons in 45 minutes. I have included two pictures of one of our old cutters fabricated out of a three-tine pitchfork. Cabbage is now hauled to the Fremont Co. in Fremont, Ohio, where it is made into Snow Floss kraut.

Kurt Heyman, Huron, Ohio FC