Peace. In the autumn. That is what Dick and I find at the farm show held each year over Labor Day Weekend at Rollag, Minnesota twenty miles from Fargo, North Dakota. This is the view from our campsite overlooking the farmstead alongside Gunderson Pond.
I have always been thankful for the farmers that grow the grain which I grind in my grain mill, but the bird's eye view of its harvest at the farm show expanded my appreciation. Although tractors have now replaced horses, the image that the farm show's horse-powered machinery provides is akin to the small scale farm operations scattered about the country today... local production that feeds a farmer's family and others within a limited radius.
This machine cuts the cornstalks and ties them into a bundle. A large spool of twine is stored in the five-gallon bucket attached to the right rear corner of the wooden wagon. The twine unwinds and automatically feeds into the mechanism that binds the stalks.
Using another piece of vintage machinery, a farmer demonstrates how wheat is cut and tied into bundles. Bundles of oats, that have been cut from another field, are mounded high on an old wooden hay wagon.
A team of horses, that are harnessed to an apparatus resembling a large wooden wagon wheel, step in unison to rotate the wheel like a merry-go-round. A long, wide belt is attached to the wheel. The wheel's rotation moves the belt which powers a machine that separates the oats from their supporting stem. (It wasn't operating at the time of my photo shoot, therefore no photo, but I had observed its use the previous day.) The grain makes its way to my kitchen and the dry, brittle stem that is formed into a bale of straw is used in my coop so that Olga, Pearl, Flossie, Opal, Henny Penny, Cora, Phoebe, and Edith may form a nest to lay their eggs. We have become detached from the farm families who toil so that we may enjoy the harvest. Establish a connection. Know thy local farmers and support their small-scale efforts.