Nov 032008
 

logansville-9035

(September 26, continued)

There is an Amish community on the east side of the Great Miami River near Logansville. Three years ago I had seen an Amish buggy roadsign, but no signs of Amish people or farms. I repeated some of the same route this year and saw plenty of both.

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This field of shocked corn was right on the edge of town at a place where I could walk up close to it.

Years ago, in the early 80s, my kids and I had tried shocking some corn to feed our sheep. It was a bad year for hay, so we bought a few rows of a next-door field from a neighbor. At that time I had never seen shocked corn except in picture books. Our efforts sort of worked, but our corn shocks were not as nice as these. Before a 3rd winter of sheep-raising came we gave up and ate them all – lambs, ewes, and the buck.

Here was a chance to see how the pros shocked corn. When I did it I had used some baling twine to tie the upper part of the shock together. But here I see that the Amish do it without any such aids.

Speaking of twine, the latest issue of American Historical Review has a review of a book about binder twine: “Bound in Twine: The History and Ecology of the Henequen-Wheat Complex for Mexico and the American and Canadian Plains, 1880-1950,” by Sterling Evans (2007). I want to read it whether or not it ever leads to any bicycle expeditions.

logansville-9044

This scene was on my way north to the supposed site of the Vance blockhouse.

But what is that farm implement in the foreground? I want to say it’s some kind of binder, but I don’t know. I’ve seen these before, usually abandoned and rusting, but I’ve never seen them in operation.

  • http://ww.palmbeachbiketours.com Ken Steinhoff

    When I was in Boy Scouts, my dad brought home a ball of binder twine so I could practice lashing for my Pioneer merit badge.

    We had a small woods next to the house, so I had plenty of saplings about two inches around to cut down to build all kinds of stuff.

    I don’t think I had any more fun with any toy I got at Christmas. If I poke around in my mother’s attic, there’s probably still remnants of that ball around.

    I still use a lot of the knots I learned earning that merit badge.

  • Spokesrider

    Ken, those could be handy skills for fastening excess camping gear to your bicycle. My knot skills aren’t so good. Sometimes I can’t even use velcro properly.

  • Borntoolate

    The machine in the foreground is a hay loader. Hay is raked into a windrow and this machine carries the dry hay up and dumps it onto a wagon. This was before balers and people stored their hay loose in the barn.

  • Spokesrider

    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks. I’ve never seen one of those in operation.