Timed right! Threshing bee right around the corner

The Jewell County Historical Society’s Threshing Bee is right around the corner. On Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and 16, there will be lots to do in the Mankato City Park. One key activity of those days is threshing wheat.  

That means the Jewell County Historical Society (JCHS) needs to have wheat bound and ready for the threshing machine. They do! Jack Alcorn, JCHS president, and his crew were out last Wednesday morning to bind wheat, load the bundles on a trailer and get the trailer under cover.

According to Alcorn, “It was really hot.” That heat meant the wheat and straw were dry. Threshing machines don’t like damp, tough wheat. 

Though we are thankful for the moisture we have received, the society is thankful the bundles are dry and will stay that way. Eighty-five-year-old, Harlow Vader, was one of those getting the wheat under cover, “the old-fashioned way.”

Vader, who can remember about 80 years of harvests, was on the trailer, pitching the bundles of wheat into place. Delvin Hansen, driving his own John Deere 60, was pulling the trailer around the field. Others in the crew were pitching the bundles up to Vader.

Those bundles were made by the society’s own International binder. The kind of binder Vader can remember being pulled by horses on his dad’s farm. 

This year it was Bill Thomas on his restored Farmall Super M-TA tractor that pulled the binder through the field. Riding the binder was Dale Wright. His job was to make sure the rattling, clanking machine, regularly spit out bundles. It did.

By afternoon, the crew was hot, tired and thirsty but the bundles were ready to be shedded and kept dry for the threshing bee.  For “the rest of the story,” come to the Mankato City Park and see those bundles fed into the threshing machine. Then marvel at how much harvest has changed over the past 150 years.


Reader Comments(0)