Use the following persistent identifier: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Petropoulos.Heat_and_Lust.1994.
2. The Harvest
οὗλα πᾶν εἰς τὸ σιτάριν.
Even if you grow a pearl,
you still have to devote your
energy to wheat.
Ἄμ ὁ βασιλιᾶς ἔμ’ πίσω
ἔν’ οὗλα πίσω.
If the King  is bad,
everything is bad.
Ὁ βοῦς ἂδ δὲν ἁλώνεβκεν
ὁ νηὸς ἂδ δὲν ἐθέριζεν
κ’ ἡ κόρη ἂδ δὲν ἐγένναν
ποττέ τους δὲν ἐγέρναν.
If the ox didn’t thresh,
if the young man didn’t harvest,
and the young woman didn’t give birth,
then they’d never grow old.
πού ν’ τὰ χωράφια μας πολλὰ κὶ’ ὁ ἀφέντης μου ’ναι γέρος!
Ah, what will become of me this year,
now that our fields are many and my husband-master [or employer] is old!
Various καταλόγια  (katalogia) and, interestingly enough, μοιρολόγια (mirologia , or ‘laments’)  frequently accompany the harvest throughout Greece. And a harvest song common to most regions of Greece suggests that male reapers entertain romantic thoughts at work:
μπαίνω νὰ θερίσω,
πέρδικα νὰ σὲ φιλήσω.
The crops have ripened, ah yes,
and I’m getting ready to harvest;
my partridge,  I’m getting ready to kiss you.
Thracian harvesters customarily sing this refrain over their midday meal of garlic sauce and bread:
μοῦ κάμαν τοὺ κουρμάκι μου σὰ μαύρου πουδουπάνι.
Σαράδα δράμια σίδηρου κὶ’ δεκαπέντε ξύλου
μοῦ κάμαν τοὺ κουρμάκι μου σὰ μαραμένου φύλλου.
θὰ πᾶμε πιὸ στ’ ἁλώνια μας, που᾽ ’χει καλὸν ἀέρι.
We’ve finished harvesting and have cut the last handful of stalks,
now we’re off to our threshing-floors which have a good breeze. 
In Thrace the reapers, once done, hang up their shoes prominently on stalks in their rivals’ fields. The slowest workers thus accumulate an embarrassing line of shoes—and verbal ridicule. Throughout Greece the final flourish, typically, is a dance performed by younger women in a mown field.
τῷ δὲ θεοὶ νεμεςῶσι καὶ ἀνέρες, ὅς κεν ἀεργός
ζώῃ, κηθήνεσσι κοθούροις εἴκελος ὀργήν,
305 ὅι τε μελισσάων κάματον τρύχουσιν ἀεργοί
Gods and men alive disapprove of the man who lives idly,
resembling in temperament drones without a sting
305 that, being idle, waste the kamatos of the bee,
by eating it up.
Ever neglectful of the harvest, Hesiod’s ἀεργός fails to gather his own portion (like the lethargic girl reapers today), and consumes instead the ‘toil’ (κάματον) of others. Κάματος here may connote the portion rightfully due to others.
550 … ἔνθα δ’ ἔριθοι
ἤμων ὀξείας δρεπάνας ἐν χερσὶν ἔχοντες.
δράγματα δ’ ἄλλα μετ’ ὄγμον ἐπήτριμα πῖπτον ἔραζε,
ἄλλα δ’ ἀμαλλοδετῆρες ἐν ἐλλεδανοῖσι δέοντο.
τρεῖς δ’ ἄρ’ ἀμαλλοδετῆρες ἐφέστασαν· αὐτὰρ ὄπισθε
555 παῖδες δραγμεύοντες,ἐν ἀγκαλίδεσσι φέροντες, ἀσπερχὲς πάρεχον . . .
550 … Harvest hands
were swinging whetted scythes to mow the grain,
and stalks were falling along the swath
while binders girded others up in sheaves
with bands of straw—three binders, and behind them
555 children came as gleaners, proffering
their eager armfuls …
Homer, The Iliad, trans. Robert Fitzgerald
(New York, 1974, repr. 1975,1989), p. 452
Cf. the modern day ἀγκαλιά (‘armload’) and the Homeric ἀγκαλίς (‘bent arm’). Also cf. West, immediately below.
There are slight variations to this procedure, however. On Cos and Rhodes the women actively reap throughout the day and gather the stalks in the late afternoon. Women in Thrace reap alongside the men, then pause to collect the stalks and bind them. Normally, then, women are deeply engaged in the harvest, frequently reaping and binding; cf. Walcot 1970. Loukopoulos 1938. 237, reported that in Roumeli (north-central Greece) reaping was thought to be a “woman’s job,” just as plowing was reserved for men. But compare the harvest practices of Avdemi, Thrace, discussed below.