If the farmer is to have a harvest in the fall, he must get the seeds in the ground each Spring. Deciding when to do this planting is important. Some farmers have a deadline or a certain date on the calendar. To some it depends on the weather and the moisture in the fields. However, in Grandpa’s day the swallows’ return from the south was his cue to plant.
In the Spring when Grandpa saw the swallows appear on the telephone wire, looking very formal with their black pointed tail-feathers all in a row, Grandpa would get into gear! Usually it was May 4th or 5th. He would have his team of horses and one-row planter ready to go!
In Grandpa’s day planting corn wasn’t so simple. He didn’t have a seed corn company to purchase seed corn from, so he had to prepare the seed corn himself. In the previous Fall he would keep some of the nicest ears, let these hang in the corncrib to dry and have these shelled and ready to go when the swallows returned the next Spring.
In Grandpa’s day the corn yield per acre was very low. In every generation the farmer has done the best job he could with the equipment and facilities he had.
If Grandpa knew what the corn yields were today, he wouldn’t believe it!
By Doris Stensland – May 2016