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Traditional agriculture--12

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  • Fedor, Helen
    There were two ways of working with a single-bottom plow. Under rozora vanie, a field was plowed starting at the outer margin and going around and around
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2010
      There were two ways of working with a single-bottom plow. Under rozora'vanie, a field was plowed starting at the outer margin and going around and around towards the middle, so that the last plowed furrow went through the middle of the field. Under orba do skladu, plowing started in the middle and ended up on the margins (where border furrows were plowed), leaving piles of earth (sklad) in the middle of the plowed field. The latter method was usually used for grain.

      Either cattle or horses were used to plow. Depending on the topography and quality of the land, either one or three [one to three??] pairs of animals were teamed up. On extremely steep slopes, the team plowed only going downhill, and walking uphill without plowing. People were hitched to plowing tools only in exceptional circumstances.

      Earthen clods remaining on the field after plowing were broken up either by hand (with a cudgel or hoe) or with a harrow. Wooden harrows with iron teeth < http://www.scottishmist.com/assets/farming/Wooden-Harrow.jpg >, whose frame shape (rectangle, square, rhombus) varied, were found all over Slovak territory as late as the 1950s. A harrow with wooden teeth was rare in the first half of the 20th century (e.g., in Kysuce).

      Until the beginning of the 20th century, in areas with lighter soil (mainly in southern Slovakia-Hont < http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Slovakia_Hont.jpg >, Novohrad < http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Novohrad.jpg >), clods were broken up and roots were torn out using an archaic tool (a drag) that was made of thorny sticks fixed to a simple frame. To make the drag more efficient, it was loaded down with stones. This drag was gradually replaced by more efficient rollers and iron harrows.

      The newest agricultural tool used to break up clods is a roller (valok, gulek), which was first used on country estates and only later adopted by farmers, as late as the end of the 19th century. It was difficult to use a roller on mountainous terrain, so it was not used widely. It was used mainly to roll fields sown with spring crops, for better moisture retention.

      In addition to the roller, various types of cultivators came into use at the beginning of the 20th century. They were used mainly to mellow < http://southeastfarmpress.com/mag/farming_wheat_notill_mellow/ >, rather than plow, spring land [land planted in springtime?].

      All opinions my own

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