Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wheat harvest

Last week-end was very busy. We should have been in 2 places at the same time. First there was the yearly antique tractor show in Drayton. Since we lacked the time, only this J.D A got to go. If you have a good look you can see the roses behind the tractor. They have been blooming for over a month now.
We did go to a wedding in Algonquin Park, a 41/2 hour drive up north from here.
The weather was beautiful and still is.
Once home again we had to get to work. The wheat was ready, so was the c0mbine.
After the dew was gone on Monday morning, Laurence started to combine.By now, Wednesday, he is almost finished at home. He usually does some custom work for neighbours next.
This year the yield and the price is good. Most years it is one or the other.
But that was not all the harvesting that got done.
It must be about 25 years ago ,that I saw a small decoration made out of straw. When an evening course was offered at the local High School I took it. I wanted to know more, but could not find any more information. I knew that it was an old English craft, so I send a letter to the Women's Institute in England. They got me into contact with Janet Brewin, a teacher /judge. She has been a very good friend ever since. And so the journey started. She kept me up to date and send me books. I even managed to go to England twice. Once I made it to the Wheat Gathering of England. Then about 1o years ago I developed more problems with my back and shoulders and it got harder to do. Slowly quilting took over.
But I never totally forgot about wheat weaving( in North America) or corn dollies (England)
I usually gather at least a few handfulls of grain. Here you can see this years crop.
There are 2 different kinds of wheat. Winter wheat is planted in the fall, stays in the ground over the winter and is harvested the next summer. Springwheat is planted in the spring and harvested also during the summer, usually a week or so later.
There are also a lot of varieties. Most noticable are the long "hairs" on some. These are called beards.

So starting from the left we have:
winter wheat, beardless
red winter wheat, bearded
winter wheat, bearded
barley, very long beards ( taken from a neighbour's field. Promised them to make something)
spring wheat, bearded. I cut this before it was ripe. It will keep a soft green tinge.
spring wheat, bearded.
This coming week-end I will be at Jenny's and I have everthing ready to make at least one weaving out of each variety. I hope to show you some results next week.

1 comment:

  1. My name is Thresh so I enjoy reading about your wheat harvest.
    I just posted a picture of your quilt on my blog and linked to your blog.