A Shocking Scene

I took this photo exactly seven years ago today while I was checking my roads as a township trustee in Holmes County, Ohio. Wheat shocks standing in fields like this one was once a common scene in Ohio’s Amish country.

Today, only the lowest order of Amish still shock their winter wheat, oats, and corn in the fall. The mainline Amish have introduced horse-drawn harvesting machines to gather their grain. Doing so was a matter of efficiency. With less than 10 percent of Amish still farming, fewer farmers are available to help in the harvesting process.

Consequently, this photo perhaps is a shocking scene in today’s terms. “A Shocking Scene” is my Photo of the Week.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2021

Wheat Shocks

wheat shocks, Amish farming
Wheat shocks

Fields of golden shocks of wheat create the iconic Amish country scene around this time of year. Like so many soldiers, they stand at attention air-drying in the sun. Soon armies of oat shocks will reinforce their numbers. If the weather cooperates, however, the wheat shocks are usually collected before the oats are cut and stacked to dry in the sun.

A machine cuts the stocks of grain into bundles. Men, women, boys and girls follow along and set up the shocks with the last sheaf placed on top to protect the heads of grain from the elements and birds.

“Wheat Shocks” is my Photo of the Week.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2016