A Harvest of Memories
by Dick Jeffers
Trafford Publishing

"In the 'Hungry Thirties' that old dictum 'waste not, want not,' was the motto of all who strove to make a living from the land."

Farming in and of itself is often considered an arduous and labor intensive occupation. Here, Dick Jeffers proves this inference in his revealing memoir about life on the farm in rural Ireland. Spanning several decades, the book is an all encompassing compendium reflecting on days gone by and touching on a wide variety of farm related topics. Readers will come to appreciate the hierarchy of the family cow, the luxury of an outhouse, the importance of neighbors in a rural community, and the patience needed in training a farm dog. Reflections on the bravado of youth come into play as Jeffers recalls his label as the "Demonstration Fella." His father acquired one of the first farm tractors in the area. Today the blue Fordsons are collectibles.

Several chapters offer a wealth of information regarding inventions that advanced the farming industry. Such descriptives would be of interest to anyone with a mechanical background, or those in mind of technical farming pursuits. For those with historical concerns about early farm machinery, Jeffers provides authentic insight and personal anecdotes about experiences with those now antiquated pieces of equipment. As the narrative moves from the past to the present, Jeffers provides commentary on both the changes and the constants. This can range from farm wives of yesteryear vs. the double career women of today, to observations on the recent return to the traditions of old-fashioned Irish wakes.

Harvest of Memories takes readers on an informative and sometimes humorous journey disclosing both positive and negative aspects of farm life. While Jeffers points out the stress factor of today's world, his fondness for the noble farming profession comes through as he suggests that perhaps the working of the land is what keeps a farmer balanced. Certainly food for thought.

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