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"We Could Fix Just about


Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Anything with Baling Wire."Edited By Beth WaterhouseMonday, July 16, 2001

The Art of Farming is a project of the Collaborative for Watershed Sustainability to gather stories about farm life in southeastern Minnesota before World War II. Stories have been gathered from individuals near Harmony, Lake City and Wells Creek near Red Wing.

That’s the trouble with new equipment nowadays. It’s so big and so powerful you can make hay when it’s not ready. The old balers couldn’t make hay at such a time, they just couldn’t do it. The baler would shut down. Nowadays with those big round balers you can bale up green stuff, and the equipment allows you to make poorer hay.

Speaking of equipment, that was one huge difference in farming back then. We went so slowly. The equipment went so slow. And if it broke down, we could fix just about anything with baling wire. You’d wrap the wire around and around and then put a little stick in there, and twist until… And then would my dad ever get mad, you’d go just a little past…and crack! Then we’d have to start the whole process all over.

I had a German circular rake… It broke on the inside and I had a lot of 3/8" nylon cord. I was able to run that rake a whole summer by tying it together and using half hitches and pulley knots. I remember we once broke a tongue on one of the main wagons. Remember the kind of tongue that extends way out and between the horses? That tongue broke in the middle of a day and my dad didn’t think a thing of it. Went out into the woods, cut an ash tree about the right size, drawn right, and couple of hits with an axe. His drills were sharp. I’d say we had a tongue in about two hours. And sometimes those bearings were made out of hardwood oak. Remember? People would make bearings out of two pieces of oak.

Remember sling ropes? We used to make hay and you put them on the bottom of the hay rack. When you got about three feet of hay you’d put another layer and then you’d draw them together and you had a pulley that would pull them up to the tripper and they would go on a track down the center of the barn. You know what I‘m talking about? At the other end of the barn you had a rope that came down to a pulley, and then that rope went all the way to the wagon and when you pulled it up it hit a trip. Well, one time I was driving the horses and I thought my dad wanted me to go, but he was still on the wagon and I heard an awful lot of hollering. He was saying Whoa! Ho! And .....
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A Big Woods Wedding

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 9, 2001

A medieval scene greets guests as they walk down green paths through open woods and across hilly fields to a small white tent with open walls. The groom could be Robin Hood, complete with his Merry Men, anxiously waiting f ..... 
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"The Great Wall of Weaver"

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 2, 2001

As if near record flooding along the Upper Mississippi was not enough already, mid and late Spring 2001 for the most part proves to be gloomy, cool and gray. With the exception of two or three consecutive sunny, unseasonab ..... 
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Reader Mail!

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, July 9, 2001

Question: I need to move my perennials in late summer. Although this is not the right time for all of the plants, can you give suggestions of how to keep them alive? How should I prepare them? Should I trim ..... 
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A Stickler for Reality

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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By Wayne PikeMonday, July 16, 2001

Having been home from our trip to Colorado for a couple weeks, I have had time to reflect on some of the events and observations that we made. Traveling to another state can hardly be considered exotic, but i ..... 
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The Mighty Ducks

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 9, 2001

It has been quite awhile since I was a volunteer coach. My first opportunity came in my early twenties when Bob, a friend of mine, and I were coaxed into coaching soccer to a mixed group of six and seven year olds in a YMC ..... 
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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