Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pitch forks

I have fond memories of pitchforks, mostly. About now we were in the midst of haying season on the home farm. We "made" our hay loose in those days, which meant after it was cut and raked we piled it into bunches with a pitch fork. Tossed it on a steel-wheeled, horse drawn hay wagon with a pitch fork. And moved it into the upper reaches of our barn with a pitch fork.

I had my own pitchfork, a three-tined, hickory handled beauty that slid through my hands with ease, was well balanced, and did what I wanted it to do.

You could tell who was a city person in a minute by the way he handled a pitchfork. We tried to teach our city cousins the nuances of pitchfork use, but they never seemed to catch on. How dumb they were, they thought. As I think back, we were the dumb ones. We did the hay pitching while they watched, pretending ineptness.

The Old Timer Says: "There's lots of talk these days but little being said."

UpComing Events:

Barnes and Noble Madison West. Wednesday, July 9, 12-1:00 Booksigning.

Barnes and Noble Madison West. Wednesday, July 9, 1:00 p.m. "Who Was Casper Jaggi?"

Circus Camp, Mazomanie. Thursday, July 10, 12:00 noon. "The Ringling Boys and Their Circus."

Barnes and Noble Wausau. Saturday, July 12, 11:00-2:00 PM. IN A PICKLE and more.

Farm Technology Days, Greenleaf, WI Wednesday, July 16, 12:00. "Stories From The Land."

Farm Technology Days, Greenleaf, WI Thursday, July 17, 11:00 AM "Stories From the Land."

Garden Tour and Book Signing, Governor's Mansion, Madison. Thursday, July 17 4:30-6:00 PM


Anonymous said...

Thankfully we no longer have to harvest hay by hand. But talking about pitchforks makes me think of the smell of hay. We plant some alfalfa, but we also continue to plant clover hay. Nothing except for maybe the smell of corn tasselling smells as good as chopped clover hay. The cows love it. It smells like a good sweet tobacco. It is a pain to get dry and is sticky but it sure smells good coming out of the silo.

Anonymous said...


I've wanted to contact you for some time. Reading this post about pitch forks has prompted me to finally do so. I moved to a farm in Wild Rose in the the mid 1970's. I recall the first time my mother took us there to see our new home. We were welcomed graciously by an elderly couple. I remember a petite woman somewhat hunched over from age and her husband. A larger man wearing bib overals who watched over her as she served us lemonade and cookies. She looked very short to me against the tall white cabinets that reached the ceiling. Sometime later after we had settled in a remember learning to use a pitch fork and I also had vistits from my own cousin from the city. One time I accidently stabbed the fork into her foot. She and I laugh about it today. There was something about that place that was warm and inviting and even though I lived there all of 6 or 7 years before I moved away to go to college it will always be a place I call home.