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Harvesting the Rye


A regular some times yearly event for us, is harvesting the rye for our demonstrations. Mostly we harvest for two years at a time, and then store the bundles rye in my fathers storage shed. Unfortunately, there are also mice and birds in the shed, So after a year you can count on one hand how much rye is still on the stalk, but this does not discourage us. We are more interested in de threshing then in making a profit.
The only thing is, that with every demonstration that we take part in, there are always many older people that criticise our working methods and reminisce back to the time when they had to work with such machines and want to feel the rye in their hands once again. They criticise everything, the grain is to small, there is not enough rye left on the stalk etc.
We try to explain that it is difficult to store the rye for such long periods of time, so that we always have enough for the demonstrations, but they just shake their heads and look at us with disbelief, and with eyes that say 'what is this world coming too'.

This is the way we harvest of rye, which we mostly obtain for a friendly price, which we pay to the farmer to harvest a small area in the field before the combine harvester begins.
This is always a contest of time, just like in the past; get the harvest in on time, but then for a different reason. Mostly we make a good start, the lanz runs as regular as clockwork and the self-binder works like it was designed to do. After about 50 bundles, then the trouble begin, the binder does everything except bind, the string is too tight and then to loose, so it goes on.

When we have once again are busy bent over the self-binder, we hear in the distance the distinct sound of the combine harvester coming our way. The driver is sitting in his comfortable cabin shaking his head in disbelief.
But luckily every time we harvest it turns out alright (mostly), which gives us hope and determination for the following year that we once again will harvest on time.

n.b This photograph show unrestorated lanz, with the owners, seated on the tractor is Bert, my father just walking along behind, doing the easy work? I'm busy with the self-binder.


Many thanks to Rick Wieland, he translated this document from Dutch into English.


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