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Traditional agriculture--9

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  • Helen Fedor
    Cultivating land with arable tools was more advanced, and was typical all over today’s Slovakia in the first half of the 20th century. We can divide arable
    Message 1 of 1 , May 27, 2010
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      Cultivating land with arable tools was more advanced, and was typical
      all over today’s Slovakia in the first half of the 20th century.

      We can divide arable tools into two basic groups, based on what they
      did:
      1. tools that simply dug the land without turning over the soil and
      making regular furrows;
      2. tools that turned over the soil and made regular furrows.

      The first group includes ridging-plows with a slide <
      http://nzdl.sadl.uleth.ca/gsdl/collect/hdl/index/assoc/HASH0113/c7507f62.dir/p148a.png
      >. The second group includes single-bottom plows <
      http://www.icollector.com/images/238/3676/3676_1167_1_md.jpg > with
      asymmetric plowshares, and reversible plows with symmetrical plowshares
      (although this plowshare doesn’t look so symmetrical to me, but I’m a
      city girl and what do I know <
      http://herkimer.nygenweb.net/ilion/images/FFF5.jpg >).

      Historically, the most interesting tools are the ards <
      http://www.butser.org.uk/BUTSER_GALLERY_PJR/lb_173_roman_ard.jpg >,
      which were still used in the first half of the 20th century in eastern
      Slovakia (Spis~, S~aris~). We resstrict ourselves to ards without
      slides (hak, hok, or hik). [I’m not sure what they mean by “slide.”
      I’m guessing that English uses a different word.] These are very
      similiar to ards from the time of Great Moravia and the period at the
      beginning of the Kingdom of Hungary.

      The long-standing use of ards in Slovak agrarian culture can be largely
      explained by the survival of the three-field farming system in
      underdeveloped areas. A narrow ard was easier to use in the first
      plowing of a field overgrown with grass than was a heavy plow with broad
      plowshares. The ard was also easier to use on steep and
      difficult-to-work fields (often full of rocks and roots)--it was lighter
      than a plow and put less demand on the team and the plowman.


      H
      All opinions my own
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