Who Remembers The Phrase “Knee High By The 4th”?
Decades ago, say, five or six decades ago, "Knee high by the 4th" was a good thing. A very good thing.
These days "Knee high by the 4th" would be a bad thing. A very bad thing.
Things have changed down on the farm.
For those of us who grew up on the farm back there in what the young whipper-snappers call the old days, if that cornfield was knee high by the 4th of July, that meant the corn crop was in good shape. Fine shape as a matter of fact. If the farmers could get that just right amount of rain, and keep the hail off, this was gong to be a good year and maybe a bumper crop year. Heck, it could mean a hundred bushels an acre, and that would be dandy!
Well, things have changed.
Thanks in part to things like improved seed genetics and a lot more, hopefully corn is waist high, shoulder high or even above head high by the 4th. One of my favorite websites, thisisfarming.org, gives a lot more details on it.
But one thing's for sure: Knee high by the 4th is a long-ago phrase that's in the dust bin of history along with the village smithy and the B Farmall pulling a scoop shovel around in the snow with a little kid on it. And that's OK. That's progress.