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"Threshing: There Was Always a Lot of Clowning Around"


Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Monday, July 23, 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.

Threshing time was probably one of the most fun times that ever was. I think for everybody. We had probably ten families that lived nearby. Everybody’d bring their wagon. It was kind of funny. They turned us kids loose with all the wagons. My dad ran the threshing machine and the blower and stuff with the other men. But there was always a lot of clowning around, always people chasing other guys with snakes. It was a fun thing. And at dinnertime it was just a feast, I mean you had a meal you could never buy anywhere! They had food… And they sat there for hours, ate for an hour and had fun and then went back to the threshing.

We used to race. The kids would race to see who could make the biggest load. I can remember my brothers and I (my dad had a bigger wagon) two of us would grab a whole shock at one time, and throw it up there and we had another one up at the top stacking them and making them big. He’d go bundle over bundle. We used to get some really big loads. We had these big steep hills and all we had were those little Ferguson tractors pulling the wagons. And we’d get a big load and come up those hills. You just knew what was coming. Everybody had to jump on the draw bar because that’s the only way you could make it. You definitely had to have a guy driving that knew how to speed shift, because you couldn’t miss a gear. If you missed a gear you were gonna be done. And you had one guy ready-- if the front end started to lift up, he’d climb over the hood. It was fun and a challenge. We did it all the time, and we didn’t get hurt.

We worked like men when we were ten years old. I think we learned how to work. I shocked oats when I was ten years old. The oats were taller than I was, and I was shocking all day. If you did that now, it’d be work, but we made it fun. We’d race. It was a blast. We helped our dad always.

The threshing machine? All those belts! We’d put all those belts on. And the threshing machine was really neat. We could go up there because my dad owned it so we’d go up to the top and the thing was a shakin’. It reminded me of a polka band. You know, everybody’s dancing and the parts going different ways. Everything .....
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Hoffman Stables

A Big Woods Wedding

Fri, Jul 20th, 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 Run Has Begun

Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Weaver Dunes Field Report Early Summer 2001By John LevellMonday, July 23, 2001

As Spring 2001 draws to a close, the season's exceedingly wet and cool weather is still cause for concern to those of us working on the Blandi ..... 
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Carrots do Love Tomatoes

Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, July 23, 2001

This week I would like to share some excerpts from the darling of companion planting, Louise Riotte's great book Carrots Love Tomatoes. This is the sequel to her very popular Roses Love Onions.

On ..... 
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A Stickler for Reality

Fri, Jul 20th, 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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Olympic Games With Chinese Tendencies

Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Monday, July 23, 2001

If you haven’t heard by now, China will host the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The country has been working for the last 10 years to get the games believing that the international spectacle will give China the prestige ..... 
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Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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