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Re: [Slovak-World] Traditional agriculture--8

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  • helene cincebeaux
    HI Helen - intrigued by the info on hoe economy - a treasured picture in my new book Slovakia! Traditions Old & New  I photographed in 1972 it shows a dozen
    Message 1 of 2 , May 26, 2010
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      HI Helen -

      intrigued by the info on hoe economy - a treasured picture in my new book 'Slovakia! Traditions Old & New' I photographed in 1972 it shows a dozen babicky going through a flower-strewn meadow towards the potato field - hoes on their shoulders and carrying pails for their potatoes. The last woman in the line has a huge stack of woven bags on her shoulder to bag the potatoes.

      not something you would see today

      but a memory when it was something you saw frequently


      From: "Fedor, Helen" <hfed@...>
      To: "Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com" <Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wed, May 26, 2010 2:59:43 PM
      Subject: [Slovak-World] Traditional agriculture--8

      Another form in which the hoe economy survived, evidence of which comes from mountain villages in northern Slovakia as late as the 1950s, was the cultivation of fixed fields using hoes instead of plowing tools. This form survived because of specific geographic and social conditions: fields at high elevations, steep fields, a lack of draft animals, and men emigrating for work. Therefore, this system of land preparation was maintained and was characterized as being mainly women's work.

      Cultivating land without teams of animals resulted in soil-preparation tools being made by hand. A small wooden harrow < http://www.saskschools.ca/~gregory/settlers/harrow.gif > < http://furrow.howellfarm.org/storage/harrowJPG.JPG?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1242143934851 >, to which one man was harnessed, was used for harrowing. Similarly, small rollers [shown here hitched to animals < http://www.mustrad.org.uk/graphics/g_towns9.jpg >] were used. Those who were not strong enough to pull this equipment would break up clods with a hoe.

      A permanent lack of land and fertilizer forced farmers in some areas of northern and eastern Slovakia to expand their acreage by using temporary small fields in glades and forest clearings. Here, they burned down shrubs and trees, then dug the ashes into the earth, but they did not dig out the roots of the shrubs and trees. Millet was the main crop grown in such soil. After 3-4 years, the field, fertilized only by ashes, stopped being productive. It was then abandoned and a new piece of forest land was cultivated.

      One basic tool used to work the land this way was the hoe. Ethnological and museum documentation from the end of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries shows a variety of hoe shapes and sizes. These depended both on the tool's exact function and also on the individual areas' cultural [cultivation?] patterns, to which hoe-producers adapted. Also, hoes varied greatly due to differences in production resources [meaning the materials available or who made the hoes?]. Older products from village blacksmiths and gypsies were gradually replaced by items made in metal workshops.

      All opinions my own

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