The Irish Harvest

I am so pleased I visited the west coast of Ireland back in 1971. That is now more than 44 years ago, but in terms of what I saw, it was like stepping back  another 40 years on that. I, of course, speak as a person brought up in the prosperous South of England. The West of Ireland really was a case of the past being a foreign country.

Here we have a couple of chaps gathering the harvest, by hand.


image002 They are gathering cut corn and producing a bundle of it which we’d call a sheaf. With a few lengths of the same crop they bound the bundle so that it stayed together.

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The bundles could then be stood up in what I have heard call stocks, stooks, shocks or shooks.

image006

On some farms the stooks (that’s what I always call them) were arranged with the seed heads down. I couldn’t really imagine this helps to dry the seed.

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On Furlongs Farm in Sussex I had seen farmer Dick Freeman open a field with a reap hook and do the same kind of tasks but this had been 15 years earlier and it was just one strip cut so that a tractor hauled reaper binder could do the rest of the field.

Seeing whole fields – admittedly small ones, done this way was outside my experience.

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2 Responses to “The Irish Harvest”

  1. Janet Says:

    Fascinating.

  2. Janet Says:

    Reblogged this on Janet’s thread.

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