When I first looked at Gail’s blog, “Old McDonald or John Deere,” and began to read, I could not stop the grin that came upon my face. The thought, “Oh Gail, what a ploy this is, playing upon the means of yields garnered from natural farming toward the results of mining bitcoin.” What a good laugh I had as I realized I knew from personal experience what she said. You can go look up the definition if you care to, what farm yield of crops means. Agriculture is undoubtedly big business today; some confiscated or intruded upon the small farmers of old and their ways of farming, mining, or producing. Our business farm was not really small but not large either; it was just right. Business is business, no matter the size of an operation.
I want to convey to you an in look at how our farm business occurred when I was a young girl. There is absolute risk in all endeavors, especially in agriculture. At times, we are rendered by the weather, which could be rain or drought. Pestilences, too; specific bugs can wipe a whole crop in one swipe, therefore wiping out our income for the year. There are no guarantees of a good yield, but we must make an effort to produce. We girls made it fun to complete our tasks by competing against one another, or as most times, we were in pairs.
Producing crops en masse on the big business farms today requires large machinery to plant and harvest them. We did not have large equipment. My Grandfather hired a friend who lived up the road to disk the acreage at planting time. We started with 100s of acres, but this amount dwindled thanks to our government through the years. The loss of acres also lowered the yield overall and the profit from our business.
So, what equipment and tools did we use to produce a yield from our acres?
1. Plough (plow is the old spelling)
2. Horse or/ and mule
5. Tobacco sticks
6. Large tanks of water on a sledge, pulled by a horse
7. Buckets for seeds and plants
8. Buckets for carrying water to water plants and seeds
With the disking of fields completed, the plowing began. My father and oldest sister at home would hook horses or mule to the plow and furrow the rows. I do not know why my sister liked to plow; she enjoyed the plowing more than the planting. I can still see her today with the plow and the reins in her hands trying to keep the plow up steady and not let it dig deep into the ground. When this happened, she would have to back the horse and plow until she got it unstuck then continued. With the plowing complete, the rest of us would come to plant. We used the tobacco stick to poke holes for plants or divots in the ground, then placed seeds or plants in the dips, etc. Next, we poured in some water from our buckets, then covered them with dirt and tamped down lightly with our feet or hands to ensure soil stayed in place. Being young and little, this was a fun part to me, and as I said, we had competitions. There was two to a row, and we would race to the end. Sometimes we hurried to the end to get under a shade tree.
Planting I liked but not so much the harvesting (mining) because of the bending, stooping, and lugging of the buckets or baskets when they were full. We certainly enjoyed eating them. We grew corn, peas, green beans, butterbeans (lima, and speckled), squash, sweet potatoes, okra, watermelons, strawberries, grapes, and plums. We canned or processed enough for our family use, but most of the yield was for profit. Thus the harvest; mining – yielded coins.
The Tobacco Yield and Marketing
There were acres and acres allotted for the tobacco. We would go down the rows, jab the tobacco planter in the dirt and squeeze the bar at the top to spread out the earth. We dropped the plant into the old tobacco planter, and the roots would fall into the waiting hole.
Once the plant was in the ground, we would pour in the water and tamp soil around the plant to make sure it was standing. We planted from early morning, sometimes late into the night.
The harvesting began when the tobacco was ripe—the men harvested by cropping the leaves from the stalks and placing them on a sled. When the Sled was full, the horse pulls it to the barn to begin the process of curing.
The curing: one person would place a handful of tobacco with the tops even in the hands of the ones stringing the tobacco. They, in turn, secured it tightly. A slim stand with grooves on each end called a horse, held the tobacco stick while we looped twine around the bundle. This attached it to the tobacco stick.
Once the stringing was complete, the guys would hang them on the barn’s high rafters to cure with generated heat. Our tobacco was flue-cured and usually took about seven days. We girls would take turns staying at the barn with our Grandfather or father to help them stay awake, lol, lol, who did the sleeping? They had to keep an eye on the flue to prevent fires in the barn. The heat was adjusted to a higher temperature each day until the process was complete. They opened the barn doors after the curing was completed so the tobacco could be remoisturized and softened naturally.
After the curing process, then began the preparation for the market. Tobacco was removed from the barn and taken to the packhouse for preparation for the market. The tobacco stacked so that the air could flow through and for the ease of picking up the sticks. We placed them on a horse again to remove the bundle, what we called unstringing, then we laid it on an extended bench for the next step. We would fold a soft tobacco leaf and wrap it around the top of a handful of neatly placed tobacco leaves to make them look smooth. Thes bundles were opened and draped over the tobacco sticks to quickly get them to the truck for transport to market. The harvesting (I.E., the “mining”) was complete; now, to see what coins the yield brought or produced.
The business of farming was demanding but very rewarding when you considered the accomplishments. There was undoubtedly a pride in what we did and a sigh of relief when it was over.
This was life for me in our family farming business, creating a harvest that produced our means of income. This income of money (coins) was minted or mined from the proposed processes. But I am so thankful for our new business today and having the yield of cryptocurrencies. This business is also gratifying, with less labor. Thank you, Compumatrix Networks International.