Q. I’ve always admired the haystacks in Amish farm fields. How do they get them stacked that way? Is machinery used?
~ Marilyn Williams
A. I’m assuming you are talking about straw shocks. When oats are ready to harvest, we use a horse-drawn binder which will cut the oats and tie them in neat bundles. These bundles are then picked up by hand, two at a time and made to lean against each other. They usually are bundled eight to a shock with the ninth bundle being laid on top to keep the rain of the grain in the standing bundles.
The shocks will be allowed to dry in the fields for several days until the farmers use the threshing machine. Neighboring farmers will come help gather up all the shocks on wagons and take them back to the barn where they will be fed through the threshing machine which will separate the grain from the straw. Grain will be used to make feed for the animals while the straw will then be baled and used as bedding.
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