Before The Harvest

"Before the Harvest " I know you will enjoy this story of three generations of farmers During the outbreak of WW2. Janice Villeverde and her friend Miriam Nixon are sent to Wildacre Farm in the New York Estate. it is there that they are put to work along with many others to help the war effort. it is there that they meet up with young Thomas Hogg who introduces the girls to his friend George Barrett. After a brief courtship Janice finds herself in trouble and George Barrett sends her away when she tells him. Forced to bring up a child on her own Janice swears revenge on the man who wronged her. Before the Harvest gives you an insight of how a farm worked during the war years; a story of love hate and revenge.


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January 1942 the Russians were pushing forward to Berlin; the Americans were now drawn into the war when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour.

A lot of American troops came over to Britain and it was like a free for all with the women as black American Negro’s brought a new kind music and dance to our shores. It was called jiving and it was a mixture of the Charleston, jitterbug, and Lindy hop. The Glen Miller and Benny Goodman orchestras played a different sound that the younger generation liked. Girls all over the country were being thrown around the hips of black American soldiers until the arrival of white Americans when the segregation of black and white military started.

The prejudice shared by the white Americans was abhorred by the British people; who saw the way black people were being treated by their own people.

It was hard enough fighting against the Germans and the Japanese without having to fight for equality within the forces of their own country.

The farmers were not happy with the soldiers here because since their arrival the German Luftwaffe had been bombing the farm lands around the British Isles.

It was also effecting the milk production because the cows were not producing as much milk. William, George Baxter and the other farmers around the North East of England wrote to complain to the government about it. They also complained about the lack of feed for their cattle. They were being forced to feed the herds on sugar beet tops and barley. They couldn’t irrigate the land properly and this was having a detrimental effect on crop yields too.

Farmers were forced to plough fields at night because they couldn’t do it during the day when there was bombardment from the Germans.

Thomas and his father were working seventeen hour days to try and make up for lost time spent in the fields.

Thomas had used the Allen scythe to cut grass to make silage for the cattle over the winter months he also used a Massey/ Harris baler for the barley that used an Archimedes screw to force the barley into a chamber where it was threshed then placed into a hopper then bagged.

Gerry Leteve had made him a makeshift grain drier just like a giant barbeque except the top was made up of a layer of bricks then some concrete was added and then using a float it was levelled then left to dry out.

A fire was made from burning wood then left to die down before the grain which was weighed then spread across the surface of the grain drier.

It was turned periodically until it was dry enough to be bagged up.

It was then weighed again to find out how much excess water had been removed from the grain.


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