“In a long, low cutaway view of a farmhouse at harvestime,” women fuel men with food, supplying energy for harvesting grain under the summer sun. The two genders work in tandem to complete the cycle of food production, farm to table.


Dinner for Threshers by Grant Wood 1934. Work from the collections of the de Young and Legion of Honor museums of San Francisco, CA.


Iowan artist Grant Wood, best known for his ionic “American Gothic” painting, shows both genders cooperating to bring in the wheat harvest. While the men labored in the fields, women worked hard in a steamy kitchen peeling and mashing potatoes, roasting meat on a wood-fueled cookstove, and drawing fresh drinking water from the indoor pump. A friendly cat appears to approve the proceedings.

Behind the Scenes of Grant Wood’s “Harvestime” painting, a one minute, 30 second video review. Farmers’ caps removed reveal white foreheads shielded from the sun’s tanning rays.



Amber Waves of Grain in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Photo: lancasteronline.com Makin’ Hay
Vinny Tennis, Staff Photographer, July 18, 2018


My dad’s business, Longenecker Farm Supply, provided a new harvester for his cousin, Howard Longenecker. A woman is present in the video below, but she is not visible. She is not preparing food either. My Aunt Ruthie is probably the eye behind the camera lens during grain harvest season in the 1950s.

I wrote about this event earlier in a post entitled “Oh, Beautiful – Amber Grain and Grainy Amber.” You can find it here.




Painted barn off Route 283 near Rheems, Pennsylvania displaying the steam engine used in grain harvesting before tractors became available.




  • What menu items would you suggest for a farm table like shown in Wood’s painting?


  • “Make hay while the sun shines” is one obvious saying that popped into my mind composing this post. Can you think of others?


  • What other pieces of art connected to sowing or reaping come to mind?