In the midst of writing, I realized the other day that I know nothing about crop harvesting practices when small/family farms in farming communities were the norm in breadbasket America, and before the use of heavy machinery.
I'm pretty sure the internet knows the answers to my questions, but alas, the internet is not responding very well. (To be fair, my questions have consisted of pretty general search terms like "United States," "historical," "agriculture," "farm," "harvest," "crops," "cereal," "grain," "planting," "season.") I get a lot of agricultural timelines, crop calendars for particular states, and descriptions of modern farming.
My questions are these:
1. What crops were grown at the same time? Would you ever have a harvest with multiple crops? How many crops did one farmer with a family farm grow at one time?
2. How long did harvest last? How was it done? How many steps were involved in the process?
3. How many people did it take per acre or so? Was harvest generally a community affair, or something that was done by the family alone? I think my mother once told me that in her grandparents’ town everyone basically went from one farm to another during harvest time. Was this generally so?
4. How did hired hands come in?
5. BONUS: If anyone can tell me about how kerosene was stored, poured, and used in lamps, I would be so
Despite the number of questions, I'm not planning on focusing heavily on harvest/farming, so I really only need general knowledge - but I would of course appreciate any direction at all. Thank you all!