Bringing the Late Iron Age to Life

Tilling – by hand

Tilling up a new plot for growing another grain doesn’t get any easier. With the big rocks moved out of the way, you still have to break up the ground and try to remove the weeds. Mind you, this particular section of ground isn’t all that big – maybe ten feet by five feet – but trust me, you will feel it. I can only get to this piece of land in the early evening, after an already full day; and I can tell that I’m not as young as I used to be. My left shoulder, in particular, is already angry with me and letting me know that maybe I pushed it just a bit too far. I only managed to get about two feet by ten feet tilled, and I can tell the difference from one end of the plot to the other. Somehow, the soil at the farther end (nearest an old tree stump) is more hard-packed than at the other end of the plot (where it is nice and rich). This northern end is going to require more tender loving care – and cow manure – than the southern end. But, even though it takes me a few days to get it done, get it done I will. I just wish I could get my hands on a couple more Tamworth piglets – to get after the roots of the brambles I’ve come across. But, they would introduce their own set of problems, like keeping them penned in on that particular plot. There are no convenient rock walls, and currently, there is no fence up; just the corner posts marking out the area.

The work goes on. Oh, once the ground is ready for planting, I will be planting a new crop – buckwheat. Once that is ready for harvest, the plants will be tilled under and the rye will go in (with some red clover). Then, hopefully by mid-autumn, I will be able to plant the barley I’ve been waiting on!

What are your thoughts?

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