Saturday, September 3, 2011

Irene's Aftermath...

It's been a week since the lovely Irene graced us with her wind and rain...

Many fields were left virtually untouched by damaging winds, but there were others that were left almost flat!  For us "English", who use large choppers to harvest corn for silage, the flattened fields can be troublesome enough.  But for the Amish, who typically use horse drawn binders to cut their corn and then put it through a chopper at the bottom of the silo, it's another story!

This morning we saw our neighbor using something we've never seen before.  When something like this happens, the Amish bishops give their permission for "unconventional" methods of harvesting. 

The horses in front are pulling a two row chopper, which blows the silage back into the silage wagon behind, which is pulled by a team of mules.  This was their first round on this field...this part of the field is still standing nicely...

Every so often they had to stop and unplug the chopper.  The mules wait patiently...

Some minor mechanical difficulties, and they're ready to go again.  Ahead of the horses, you can see the flattened corn...

 And off they go...

It's a bit tricky to hit the silage wagon!  The mules have to walk directly behind the chopper, at least on the outside rows, so the silage blows back over their heads, over the driver's head, and into the wagon.  They got it straightened out!

Some Amish farmers are getting the "English" choppers to come into their fields, but they can't get everyone's corn chopped before the corn gets too dry.  We've even heard of choppers going cross-ways throught the field to try to lift downed corn.  In situations like this, creative juices flow!

Thankfully, most fields aren't like this one!


  1. What a mess! We had a lot of wind in July that flattened some fields. It's standing better, but it will still be a challenge to combine this fall.

  2. Wow how interesting, have never seen this done before.....we have large Amish communities all around us......after 8yrs I am still in awl over their lifestyle and ways of life.......I really think I could be Amish.

  3. I love seeing your pictures with the teams of horses doing that work. It just looks amazing. I am glad you guys use the combine?? is that the right word?
    I hope you don't get Lee before you get your corn harvested.

  4. Glad you all faired well n the storm. My brother just north of you also did well, just lots of rain and wind, he did not even loose any power just sleep!! He was more nervous about tornadoes then flooding. He said he got about 5-6 inches of rain but he lives on a hill.

  5. Wow I always learn something new on your blog. This is fascinating. They certainly do know how to fix a situation. I am glad you fared well after Irene. It is lucky that it is only some flattened corn. Thank goodness. B


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