Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Children re-enact 'a day off school' to harvest the potatoes

On Monday 9th September some mancunian children had 'a day off school' to help bring in a local crop. Many thanks to the teachers; some of whom dressed up alongside the children to harvest the potatoes.

potato lifting fork
Tools, such as this fork for lifting potatoes in the yard, were used for the re-enactment. They had been lent for display by a local resident who grew up on a farm near-by. A manure fork, with rounder, sharper-ended tines and a fork for harvesting potatoes in the field, with flatter tines to reduce the risk of harming the crop, were also used.

boy harvesting potatoes

Girls and boys dressed up in roughly period costume.

Potatoes collected in wicker baskets
Local resident, Carol Davies said that not only did they use the potato sacks as aprons but they used to turn the corner of a hessian sack inwards to make a hat in bad weather (or as protection from the sun perhaps)

aprons were made of sacks
We had refreshments after all the hard work ... In Timperley the Forgotten Field project had learnt that this was called 'Baggins' after the bag of oats that was put over a horse's head during its break.
We are considering making a traditional outdoor storage heap for the potatoes made with straw... known as 'a Hog' in these parts.

weighing the potatoes
 A few more activities carried on inside, weighing the crop, creative cameo pieces on Dunham Village Hall's wonderful stage and creating a story time-line...but the short time we had went so fast...they'd 'like to come back'!
Many thanks to all concerned with the Hall for a fantastic venue. The flexible and patient support for this project has been much appreciated.



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