Harvest Time

 [Sept. 1724] Mond .7.  fair. I fetched a turn of aples fro Holmes’s Lot Ab & Moley. . .Saturd 12 fair. I was picking apples. wee Carted 1 Load to ye mill. . . .Tuesd 15 fair. I was at home all day. I finisht Riming my wheell. Jo Bent[Bennett] & Jno Mowed Rowin & Stackt Stalks. fryd 18 fair. I was about home. I mended highways for the Cart to go to fetch hay to the medows in the forn. aftern Raking hay at Mamacock 20 Cocks in R. Cs medow. Jo Bent & Jno Carted 1 Load from ye Medows & 1 from Mamacock. I help ye Latter my Steers & Horse.  apples

September meant preparations for winter were in full swing in New London. In 1724 Hempstead still had several of his children at home to help. Abigail was 12, Molly 8, and John 14. There were several other days that month of picking apples and taking them to the mill to be made into cider to store for the winter. Lacking modern refrigeration, the cider would go hard fairly quickly, and then eventually turn to vinegar. (There’s a reason besides efficacy for all those old household tips using vinegar.)

Animals were also provided for. Hay was once again being mowed and stacked. “Rowen” was the second, thinner growth of hay. (See blog titled “Tuesd the 4th”) Hempstead had hired Joseph Bennett the previous month to work for 40s p month, using him for agricultural labor like haying and setting up fence at ye old orchard &c at the farm in Stonington. That must have been a large orchard, since fencing, with at least three men working, took Monday through Saturday, and was not quite finished even then. Hempstead had also hired of Richard Christoprs his Salt Medow on August 24. Salt hay was not as nutritious as “English” hay, but there was a lot of it around New London.

The whole month wasn’t spent in agricultural pursuits. The selectmen (of which Hempstead was one) took possession of the ferryhouse and rented it out to new operators. The governor, the Honorable Gurdon Saltonstall Esq. Died Suddenly with a fitt of the Appoplex on Sept. 20th, and was buried with full military honors the 22nd. And Hempstead ended the month on a satisfactory note. After several days at the Superior Court on various cases, he could say Wednsd 30 fair. I was at Court al day about geting Sister Mary Divorced & obtained it. Since Mary Plumb’s husband had deserted her at least fourteen years before, it was high time.

See an index all the Joshua Hempstead Blog postings.