The numerous walkers were somewhat surprised when the champagne corks popped on the plateau near rathsberg. With the term "fall", the one that was celebrated there, they could do nothing at all.
In recent days, karl-heinz hertlein, a farmer from oberlindach, has been going round and round with his combine harvester on the highest point of the municipality of marloffstein. It took four days and many a half night to thresh around 48 hectares of wheat. Now comes the term "downfall not only the walkers were not familiar with the term, but also the younger generations are mostly unfamiliar with it.
In the working year of the people in the villages, the harvest has always been one of the most important periods. In the past, a good grain harvest not only determined the prosperity of the farmers, but also whether the poorer inhabitants and the livestock could be adequately supplied. Often, adverse weather conditions prevented a good harvest and often caused serious losses. In the past, the farmers were all the more grateful when the grain harvest was brought in and the village community did not have to suffer any hardship in this respect.
In pre-christian times, our ancestors believed in the spirits of fertility and vegetation in the form of an animal. Especially the rooster was believed to have the power to influence the harvest. According to old traditions, the rooster hid under the last sheaf of grain during the harvest to gather new strength for the coming vegetation year. This last sheaf was decorated with colorful banners, certainly the origin of the need to wind a harvest crown, which is decorated to this day with colorful banners and grain ears.
But not only the end of the grain harvest was celebrated, with craftsmen there was after completion of the work or completion a festive communal meal, which was often also associated with a sum of money. With the feast on the farm was finally refueled again strength, because the brought in grain had to be threshed yet. On coarse farms, which grew a lot of cereals, threshing often took many days, even weeks, and often paid to work already in winter.
Neighbors often helped each other out with the threshing, or day laborers in special threshing crews hired themselves out for this work. Often it was also masons who could not work in winter. But also small farmers, who had another occupation besides a small farm, came to thresh for two or three hours before starting work.
On the last day of the harvest, the farmers’ family gathered with the maids and farmhands to celebrate the "fall" the last sheaf. Karl-heinz hertlein reminded us of this age-old custom on the hohenrucken between rathsberg and marloffstein. After the last ears disappeared in the combine harvester of the oberlindach farmer, the harvest year was also over for him. "Tomorrow already begins the harvest for the year 2013", declared hertlein, the rapeseed is sown.
Hertlein wanted to revive an old tradition and to celebrate the fall of the wheat, because the harvest went (almost) without a hitch, except for a broken drive chain or a flat tire. "We had a slightly below-average harvest this year, in may we feared worse, but the grains have a good "coarse", heard hardlein. May and june were mainly too dry, and now the drought is especially hard on the corn, as could be easily seen from the fist-wide cracks in the wheat field.
Nevertheless, on the hohenrucken, from which one can see far into french switzerland and as far as nurnberg, the entire hertlein family, the helpers, as well as relatives and acquaintances, gathered to toast the satisfactory harvest. There was of course not only champagne, the agricultural trainees were busy at the grill and put sausages and steaks on the grate. The women had brought a lot of homemade salad and even sub dishes and the group loved to eat and drink with the best view.