Seasonal farm activity

March: As soon as the frost was cleared it was out with the harrow to prepare the soil first for the fields intended for grain and for spreading of artificial fertilizer by hand. If possible the spring grain had to be in before April but sometimes it was the beginning of April before it was completed. The spring sowing consisted of barley, oats and a mixture of barley oats and spring rye. The inclusion of spring rye was because in dry years the barley and oats may be too short to make good sheavess in the binder. The spring rye was long stemmed and helped to keep in place the short stemmed barley and oats. Grass and clover seeds were sometimes included in fields for grazing the next year.

April: Fields were prepared for the sewing of turnips, and fodder beet and for planting potatoes. Potatoes were planted by hand, turnips and fodder beet by a small two row seeder pulled by one horse.

May: Completed planting activities, first cleaning of beets and turnips as soon as seedlings appear. Cleaning of potatoes. At the end of the month peat was cut from the peat bog for next winter’s fuel. Also at the end of the month the hoeing of beet and turnips began and cattle were put out to graze after the morning milking..

June: Hoeing beets, turnips, potatoes, turning peat in the peat bog, spreading nitrogen fertilizer on all crops by hand.

July: Completing second hoeing of beet and turnips, taking home peat from peat bog. Getting the binder ready for harvest, making hay, cutting, turning, stacking and taking it home. Taking dry peat home for fuel next year.

August: Harvesting of rye followed by barley, mixed grain and oats. Stacking the sheaves, turning them, laying down the sheaves before taking them home. Taking home sheaves on large loads by wagon.

September: Raking fields after grain harvest, shallow ploughing of stubbles, thrashing of rakings, deep ploughing of field for winter rye.

October: Cutting leaves of fodder beet by hand collecting fodder beet by wagon and carrying it to a long pit in ground. Collecting potatoes for both human and animal consumption to be stored in pits.

November: Cutting tops of turnips and collecting them into large pits in ground.Deep ploughing with double plough and three horses

December: Covering piles of turnips with straw and soil to prevent frost damage. Deep ploughing of all fields except the grassland.

January and February Carting home turnips – fodder beet for feeding, lots of work looking after all animals.

Throughout the year parents and children were involved with milking the cows by hand between 6-00 and 7-00am, while the hired boy would be mucking out, carrying the dung by barrow to a dungheap outside the byre.