Monday, June 5, 2017

How farms were run

WELCOME TO OUR BLOG, Menfranco general blog. In addition to our own posts about, my life story, and some DIY posts, we are going to publish some world wide public issues that we are writing, about what is happening in the world today and other stuff.
Welcome to our blog, menfranco general blog
and this post, how farms were run
How the farms were run in the fifties
This harvester, was one of the machines that would help farmers collect their harvest quicker, if you compare it to when everything, had to be done by hand, by still there was a lot of work to run a farm the old ways.

How the farms were run then?
Dear readers, this post is the continuation of our last post, my farm life chapter, where we were about to explain about how farming was done the old ways. So, now let me explain how these small farms in southern Italy were run until the fifties, when things started to change a great deal, because of the new farming machine that were coming out, like the tractor and other machine that were very effective in replacing manual work; now, because these machines helped the farmers run their farms with less manual workers, the people that were employed in the farms had to find other jobs. Now, this is just one explanation, but let us describe how things were done then, to understand the whole situation and what was happening to us young would be farmers.
When I was young during the fifties, before these farming machines became affordable to the average small farmers, all the farmers used to have mixed farming, because it was necessary to have mixed farming then for many reason, today mixed farming is practiced to a much less extend, and I will try to explain the reasons, why this has happened. But to make it clear to you dear reader, I should describe the different way of how the land was (had to be) used in the old days, and how it is (would be) used today: In the old days to till the soil people used to do it all by hand, just like what we still do today in our own small home gardens, so, they would dig the soil in very small plots with a hoe, or something like that. But on normal fields in the farms the soil was tilled by ploughing the fields with horse power, or other strong animals. Therefore, there was a need for a lot of people to be fed to work the fields, and there were a lot of animals also to be fed to work the fields.
So, this need to feed so many mouths required a lot of produce, and also a variety of produce, for this reason mixed farming was required, because it was the only way to produce all this variety of foods that were required, in order to feed the animals and for other reasons as well, in the old days for this reason and also for other reasons as well, the sowing fields had to be divided into a three-year-rotation, not only to achieve these variety of foods, but it was also necessary to rotate the fields then, in order to keep them producing, otherwise the soil would become tired and produce very little, in other words if we would continue to use the fields every year they would produce next to nothing and therefore it was not worth working them, for this reason, our forbear had devised this three year rotation, which worked thus;
One year a field would be fallow land, so, it would not be used at all, or used very little growing broad beans or something like that, then the next year it would be sown with durum wheat, and the year after that the same field would be sown with oats or barley, or other light seeds, and the year after that to fallow land again. So, in realty there was only one third of the land producing durum wheat each year, which was the produce that brought in money to the farmers.
When I was young, a lot of people used to work in those farms, as I have said already, and it was hard physical work, specially at certain times of the year, and there was no much money to be made, with the exception of every now and then when we had a really good wheat harvest; but when the harvest was lean everybody would suffer, and all one could do, was to start all over again for another year, and so, one would be hoping and perhaps praying God for a better harvest next year, yes in those times people were a lot more religious than today, so, they believed in God and prayed God, and all the saints that they could think of, hoping that they could or would help them produce good harvests.
Anyhow, there were too many years of lean harvest when I was young, some average and only a very few years we had good harvests. But somehow people kept going on, and they were so used to poverty that they accepted it and seemed to be happy just the same, because they did not know of a better life. But one should keep in mind that the main harvest is only once a year, and one year is a very long time, when there is not enough money to go around, even to buy those things that were really necessary to live a modest life.
For all the work that I did in the farm in my youth, I earned almost nothing, but I was able to eat plain wholesome food, and buy a few cheap cloths to keep warm in winter, which sounds very bad these days, but then when there was nothing better that one could do, even this hard and unpleasant way of life would have to do, as long as one could live a healthy life; perhaps living a healthy life was the only thing that we could achieve easily then, because the air was healthier in the country, the life was very boring but at the same time it was not mentally stressful, compared to living in towns these days, and if there was any complain about a stench that came from the farm animals, it was something that would not harm anybody, it is only natural that all animals smell of something, we smell also of something even if we don’t notice it.
Anyhow I believe that I have said enough in this post, so, see you in our next post, where we are going to write about, the human side of farming.
See you soon.
Menfranco general blog 

How farms were run
Next time with, the human side of farming  

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