Monday, November 14, 2011

Sugar Beets

The month of October has come and gone, as has the sugar beet harvest. In the "olden days", the beets were dug up in a long row, then the workers would come through with the curved, sharp beet knife, pick up a beet with the hook on the end, hold the beet in the left hand, and chop off the tops on the right hand. The tops would go on one row, and the beets on another. The beet loader would come through and pick up the beets, and the tops would be picked up to be used for cattle feed for the winter. In spite of his age, Grandpa would go out and top beets with the other workers. There is another picture of Ann and Steve posing by him - but this is the only one I could find in a hurry. I assume that Dwight took this picture? You recorded a bit of history here.
Preston, like many other farming communities, once had a sugar beet factory, and it was a favorite money crop. However, the company that owned the factory moved away, and it now stands, tall pipes against the sky, and windows broken out - an eyesore on the countryside. On the other hand, the sugar beet farmers in the Big Horn Basin banded together, purchased the factory, and have successfully run it during this time. I'm still glad we don't have to thin, hoe, and harvest sugar beets anymore.


Ann said...

When you enlarge this photo there is someone else working going down the row from Grandpa. Dad?

Judy said...

That's my guess. Having reached a more mature stage of life myself, I know why Grandpa's nose dripped all the time while he was bent over topping the beets.

Dwight said...

Really? I thought we had a pretty good time!