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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He switched the button which lowered the blades then jumped back on board the tractor he then set about ploughing the field. He had a radio in the tractor and he turned it on to hear Dave Lee Travis – The Hairy Cornflake playing a new record by the Beatles a group from Liverpool who was making it big in America.

“Ticket to Ride” belted out and Brian sang along with them.

Although he rarely went out apart from the Dun Cow in New York for a swift pint Brian’s life consisted of work and then more work. You never got a day off on the farm as there was always something that had to be done. He had been out when he was at Kirkly Hall agricultural college before going on to Newcastle University where he got a first. It was there where he met Ashleigh Watts who was studying animal husbandry. They went out together for over six months but when Brian told her that he had to return to run the farm she decided that Brian wasn’t for her. She could not take second place to the farm. Brian had not slept with a woman since he just hadn’t time for a woman in his life. It wasn’t because he was unattractive. Brian had thick blonde wavy hair and blue eyes. He was tall and slim and people said he had a nice smile so he couldn’t be that bad.

His father kept on at him saying if he didn’t hurry up and get a wife, then it would be too late for him. Brian turned the tractor to start another line. He remembered sitting next to his dad on the tractor whilst his father went through the controls with him when he was only ten. His passion for farming had not changed since.

He loved the farm and one day he hoped that he would have a son to pass the farm onto as his father had done. Brian’s late grandfather William had started life with only one field of potatoes then built up the farm over the years buying more and more land.

William had been a thirteen year old farm hand and worked his way to owning his own farm with the sweat of his brow he told his father who then told him. Brian was an inquisitive child and wanted to know all there was to know about farming. His father spent hours explaining how things were done and Brian took everything in; he was a human sponge he just seemed to soak up all this knowledge. He learned about the old machinery and how they worked. He learned about planting different kinds of vegetables like Cardoon, kohlrabi, cabbage, turnip, carrots, and Swede, Brian now included Cauliflower, Kale, Broccoli, asparagus, and salad potatoes.

New method of farming allowed Brian to cultivate many vegetables over the winter months. Swede, turnip, and carrots could be buried under polyurethane and then covered with straw the tops would rot but the vegetables kept for months until they fetched a bigger price at the market. Brian had tried to explain this to his father who said that the crops would all rot but Brain’s methods proved right and they made a profit. Salad potatoes and other catch crops like lettuce, radish; tomatoes and spring onions. They were grown under poly tunnels were fetching high prices in super markets and restaurant chains across the country. 

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