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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Brian moved onto the next field as The Rolling Stones “Get Off Of My Cloud” boomed out. Brian set the plough in motion again then carried on until all the fields were done but his work wasn’t finished. Brian had to make sure there were no hard pans in the soil that would prevent good root growth so he had to go over the fields again with a sub soil machine to break up the hardpans then the tiller was used to flatten out the land ready for planting. These fields were to be used for asparagus which was proving very popular with customers. It was labour intensive as they had to be picked bundled and then dispatched within a day to preserve the freshness and stop them from going woody. Super markets and restaurants were not happy if the quality of the asparagus wasn’t spot on. Brian employed pickers who could clear a field in a matter of two hours to be dispatched by a waiting lorry.

It was nearly five o’clock when Brian returned. His father had made a beef stew and he put some on a plate and began to eat it.


Thomas rounded up the cows for the second time after they had been out grazing in the field. Cows could be milked up to three times a day. The milk had to be ready for collection to be pasteurised or made into cheese or yogurt. This was something that Brian was looking at doing himself too as cheese was bringing in more money than the milk production.

The cows were led into the milking shed where the cows udders were washed in a sterile solution before the automatic suction pumps were fitted they extracted the milk which went into a huge tank ready to be taken away. The farmer had to know his cows because if a cow was sick it could contaminate the milk and it would have to be tipped away down the drain. Milking only took five minutes per cow once  pumps were fitted to the udders of the cows then the cows were either led back out to graze or put into the barn for the night. Once Brian had eaten it was back on the tractor again to begin planting the asparagus seed it usually took him about three hours to plant the seed before he could return home.

His work is still wasn’t done until he logged everything that he has done on the field then it is marked onto a chart of the whole farm so that he knew where everything was planted.

Tomorrow he had four fields of cabbage plants to do then they have to be watered in to stop them from wilting. It was just after twelve when Brian got to bed after eating a sausage sandwich and a hot cup of tea.

Brian would take a flask with him tomorrow he thought as it can get pretty dry up their in the cabin of the tractor. Even in spring when the weather was still pretty cold and windy.

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