Farming Down the Years - The 1955 Corn (Oats) Harvest in Ireland
By the 1950 almost every farm in Ireland had moved from working with horses to using tractors as the main source of power. In this video a field of Corn (Oats)is grown and harvested as it would have through the middle of the last century. Re-enacting the farm year of 1955, we show each stage of growing Corn as it would have been farmed during these years. From ploughing with horses though to ploughing with a 1939 Fordson Tractor, onto the preparation of the ground using a harrow, a brake, disc, rollers, all to prepare the ground for the sowing the seed which is done with a corn fiddle.
Once the oats have grown we show them first being cut with scythes and we then show them being harvested with a reaper and a binder. After the corn had been cut the sheaves were built into huts and then into a stack ready to be threshed. The day the thresher arrived onto the farm to thresh the stack of corn was an important day for the farmers of the 1950s. We show a Garvey thresher at work and a Jones bailer compressing the left over straw which would have been used as bedding for the livestock. Once this job is complete we finish our film with burning of the chaff.
This video is narrated by Dr. John Kerr and is accompanied with a commentary from the two vintage enthusiasts who grew the field of corn explaining each step along the way.
We hope that this film will bring back some memories of how the corn was farmed in the 1950's or provide a history lesson for those who never knew these times in Ireland.