As I sit here and write this, I have a new found respect for the word ‘harrowing’. I ache. My back aches. My arms ache. My neck aches. My aches ache. But it does feel good to have harrowed an acre by hand using 2′ wide wooden tine harrow.
We had access to the heavier metal version usually pulled behind a tractor (or horse) but as it had rained the night before we drilled the seed, farmer John thought it would be best by hand. It may have been a test to see if we’d break 😉
John popped over to see how we were getting on and to bring us the wooden tine harrow to use. He’d noticed us drilling the seed and knew we’d probably visit him soon to borrow the metal tine harrows he’d offered but he’d come to the conclusion that they’d be heavy going by hand. I think he was right, but I wouldn’t like to do more than we’ve done by hand again! The wooden harrow was a lovely piece of woodwork – all the tines were push fit into the end, the ash handle was split to at the handle end to house the handle itself and only a brass collar was used to keep it from splitting all the way to the business end.
Once we’d pegged out the land and drilled the bits we want to grow as grazing land, the harrowing of the sown piece took about 5-6 hours. Suz came and helped for a few rows which was a welcome break, and Frankie came to sit in the dirt – he’s good at that, an expert even.
7.40pm on the evening, the sun was almost gone and I was rescued by Gary and Liz from next door who came to admire the newly turned dirt and help me with the evil barrow from hell back to the house. Here they’re standing on the piece of land that will soon be part of their allotment! I’m going to sleep well.