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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“I do hope that Janice is alright said Miriam to Thomas; I here that her father and brother’s have a wicked reputation in Ashington according to Janice.

“I think Janice will be fine love; if it wasn’t I think she would have rang me by now to ask me to come get her and the baby.

“Yes,’ you’re right, it’s just me getting myself all het up over nothing.’

“It looks like the snow has all but melted now so it won’t be long before dad and I can get back out there on the fields again.


There were still lots of work to be done before then as ditches had to be cleared so that the fields drained properly. All the trees in the orchard and surrounding areas were either pruned or cut down if dead and the wood used for the farmhouse to heat the place and to cook with. They planted new fruit or horse chestnut trees. Then all the hedgerows are trimmed back and the streams defrosted along with the animal troughs. The machinery was services and any parts that were worn replaced. Every working part was oiled then tested to see if they were working correctly.

When that was done Thomas and his father would spread some 320 tonnes of farm house manure on the land using the muck spreader. The cattle are all wormed and checked over before allowing them back out onto the field.

The cattle would run around the field when released kicking their legs high in the air after being cooped up in the barn over winter. Then Thomas would fill a hopper with potatoes and sugar beet which is then chopped up and spread out for the herd to eat.

Thomas and his father then planned where they would plant the crops for that year.

It was important to rotate the crops to deter pests and disease.

The cycle of a farm begins again and the crops are ploughed and planted again for another year.

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