Harvest, hay and a Hills hoist
Harvest timeThe weather dictated harvest time. Too damp, no reaping. The crop must be dry. The very long days on the tractor meant my father and later my brother were gone for hours. In early days my father and Uncle Joe bagged the wheat. The bags had to be sewn up before they were moved so for many long hours they would stand out in the height of the summer heat. They stitched up the tops with the curved bag needles that were threaded with thick twine. The bags were branded for delivery and others were stored in the barn for livestock food.
Sometimes harvest was finished by Christmas but it often went on well into January. In those days the crops were mostly wheat, barley and oats. A paddock of peas would be sown to enrich the soil and they also provided peas for home consumption.
|1958 Branding bags of wheat before they are conveyed and stacked via a bag elevator. Photo 103794 A History of agriculture in South Australia http://pir.sa.gov.au/aghistory viewed 30 March 2017|
HayAt the end of harvest, the remaining crops grown specifically for hay and were slashed then rowed ready for gathering. When I was small the hay on many farms was made into sheafs which were then collected and stacked in stooks. Using a pitchfork the hay was tossed on to the truck for movement to a shed or to the corner of a paddock where a traditional stack was built. Hard physical work.
The arrival of a hay baler improved the process and rectangular bales soon appeared in the paddocks. Hay making was still hard work as the bales were about 25kg each. Large bale hooks were used to move the bales. Haystacks changed shape and baled hay was fun to climb on but prickly for play. We were expected to stay away from the haystacks. Skill, dexterity and accuracy in stacking were needed to ensure the stack did not come tumbling down.
Linwood 1953 season's bales, Edward John Horgan - Maurice on top
Hills HoistMoving from the old small house to a larger new one in the mid-1950s brought many delights. For my mother, the addition of a rotary clothesline must have made a huge difference to her washing days. The Hills Hoist rotary clothesline was made by a South Australian company started in 1946. Lance Hill had improved on an earlier model. The clothes line had a winder handle so that it could be lowered for pegging then raised to make the most of any breeze and sunshine. This was a huge change from the prop line along the edge of the creek.
Mum always pegged the smalls, underwear and socks, on the inner lines then the larger items such as work clothes, sheets and towels were hung on the outer circles. Complete privacy for those unmentionable items.
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