I had already submitted a post in this theme, but reading the entry of a fellow blogger, Le Drake Noir, I was reminded of a great social event, and meeting place from over 50 years ago, growing up in rural Ireland.
This was the day when the threshing machine came to our farm to ‘thrash’ the corn , wheat and barley, to separate the precious grain from the rest of the crop. Not all farmers had a threshing machine, as they were large expensive pieces of equipment, so the one machine would be hired out among all the farmers in the area, and all the neighbours would turn up to help on the day, knowing that everyone would return the favour when it was their turn to have the precious machine.
All the neighbouring children would come along to this big important day as well, and we had a ball, the highlight of our day was playing in the chaff, (the husks of the grain) ducking and diving and making sure to keep out of the way of the pitchforks as the men worked hard and stacked the straw before it was put in the barn over the cowshed, and used during the winter as bedding for the cows.
All the women from the neighbourhood turned up as well, spending the day in the kitchen, baking bread and cooking up big meals for all the workers – probably a huge pot of spuds (potatoes) and bacon and cabbage – one of the most traditional of Irish meals.
The work would go on late into the evening until all the grain was safely bagged, and as a reward the farmer would supply a barrel of porter to quench the workers’ thirst, and often someone would produce a musical instrument like a squeeze box, and there would be singing and dancing to round off the night, and finish off the dregs of the barrell!
Old threshing machine
Linked to Ailsa’s Travel Theme