There is very little written about every day or seasonal life, unless you look under “Holidays” which are well reported elsewhere; but since farm life did not change all that much within 50 or so years, I will translate the cycle of seasons and work schedule.
Crops were distributed over all fields and measured in Doppelzentners (two times 100 pounds) per hectare. The soil quality was only 34.89% in that area, versus a status of 100% in other areas of Europe. 1 dz or “Doppelzentner” (dz) is roughly 200 pounds. And one hectare is about 2.5 acres.
Crop yield was: Area under cultivation
32 dz/hectare in Winter wheat 90 hectares
26 dz/hectare in Winter-Rye 90
25 dz/hectare in barley 25
28 dz/hectare in oat 60
280 dz/hectare in potatoes 55
620 dz/hectare in fodder beets 15
There was also clover and special feed crops
The forest distributed among the farmers was a combination of 80% pine, 19% fir and 1% oaks, birch and larch (tamarack). The forest was harvested of deadwood every winter for firewood. Usable wood was not sold but required for maintenance of the buildings. After a clear-cut was made, it was immediately replanted.
The field work had this yearly schedule: Winter wheat planting/sowing took place within 8 days before or after the feast of St. Wenceslaus on September 28. Sowing of summer crops took place after the fields were sufficiently dry at the end of March. At that time they also seeded feed crop fields with a mixture of clover and oat. Generally old farmer’s almanac rules were used:
“At Josef ‘s name day (March 19) even the laziest farmer should do field work” and “March dust will equal gold dust” “Maerzenstaub ist Goldeswert”
Potatoes were planted the last two weeks of April and were harvested according to their ripeness, either early for consumption or late for storage.
Rape was seeded at the end of August and harvested the middle of July in the next year.
Haying began on June 8 and continued for 8-10 days. The clover harvest followed. Clover that was not used for fresh fodder was dried on racks called “Kleekuppeln” before going into storage. July 26 marked the beginning of the grain harvest which was some of the most demanding work of the entire season. It required hard manual labor along with the labor of draft animals. Farmers used scythes with a reed framework called a cradle (Wachler) which made all the stalks fall in neat rows and falling into the same direction. Teams of men wielded scythes rhythmically while women followed with sickles which they used for gathering and binding the cut grain stalks into equally sized bundles. The roundness of the sickle measured the bundles to equal size and they were bound with a rope made of twisted straw. The bundles then were made to stand upright to dry in a pattern of 9 called “Kupperla” (probably from the word cupola, because that it what it looked like).
Oat and barley were often left on the field to dry and was gathered in half-dry condition before it was bound into sheaves.
The busiest time of the harvest was when the entire crop of wheat, oat and barley had to be loaded onto carts and taken to the barns. The last stalks on the field were bound into an effigy called “Hulzfrau”, (wooden woman, but it could also come from the name Hulda, a farm goddess in the ancient days) and she was decorated with flowers and ribbons and left in the field behind.
The hard work over in the fields brought on festivities. The beer was rolled out for the harvesters (mostly on Maria-Ascension Day or the following Saturday) and the celebration with music was accompanied by huge quantities of beer, bread, sausage, cheese and sheet cakes. In the evening there was dancing.
All farms had mud threshing floors in their large barn. Hand flails called “Drischel” or “Flegel” separated the seed grain from the stalks, and a portion was taken away for next year’s seeding; then it was taken to a hut that was owned by the entire village, where the grain was screened or riddled. In the same area the village maintained a scale large enough to weigh their products and animals. Content was gathered from multiple unnamed sources….