Friday, October 11, 2013

Compare farming

Welcome to my blog, Genzano it story
and this post Compare farming

Modern harvester machines
Harvester machines and how harvesting could be done today. But I have to say that this photo is just an exaggeration because it is too crowded with machines.

Single horse pulling a plough, you just compare this to the modern ways of working the fields.

Compare wheat farming the modern way

Farming today compared to the old ways
Today we often wonder how easy it is to grow and harvest wheat, at least it seems so when we look at a video that shows harvest time in the wheat farms, we see a few harvester machines in a field collect the wheat in no time at all, and because of this speed of these wonderful combine harvester machine food is a lot cheaper today than it used to be; of course these machines are only part of the machinery that helps farmers, because there are many more, like the tractor and other devices to till the soil and to sow the seeds, and all these machines put together make farming a lot easier today, and therefore wheat can be produced a lot cheaper, this of course helps keep the price of bread and other wheat made products down.
Of course if we want to talk about farming in general there is more to say than just wheat farming, because there are many other things that the bloke on the land can produce, see this link here-under how Wikipedia explains farming.
Dear readers, now let us go back to talk about wheat farming and the great benefit that we get from it, today we are writing this article because we see that there is a great difference in the ways of living and they are a lot better; so, for comparison sake let me explain you this, today here in Australia there are a few places that a 600g loaf of bread costs you just one dollar, we know that this bread is sold at a very special price to get the customers to the shop, but we often wonder and we do not know how it can be done but they do it anyhow, this very low price of bread is possible only because the farmer can produce the wheat cheap.
Because the wheat is cheap and therefore the price of bread is cheaper, the supermarkets make it even cheaper to attract customers, the supermarkets have a price war also on milk and we can buy a two litre bottled milk for two dollars, that works out at one dollar per litre, again how they can do it I do not know, but they do it anyhow; so there is plenty of cheap wholesome food around for us to enjoy, thanks to the farmers and the supermarkets. But people still complain about the cost of living today, I know that what I am talking about here are only a few items and a lot more are needed to live well. Anyhow, when I was young things were a lot harder and they were very different then, in order to show you what I mean hereunder I am going to describe how it was done at the time when I was young and also how hard it was for some people just to have a piece of bread to eat each day, so let me describe to you farming the old ways.
Farming the old way
Farming the hold ways
Dear readers in order to explain how farming was done when I was young, I am going to write here-under is the way of farm life that was going on then, I know that things have changed for the better now, as we have already written above, because of the tractor and new farming machinery that have come out since then all due to the industrial progress, but when I was young there were a lot less advanced farming machine that could make farming easy, so we had to do most things the old ways, so let me tell you how life was in the farms of southern Italy in the early fifties and earlier. 
It is a well know fact that in those times and even now, there were/are two times during the year, when in the farms everybody would be really working hard and working very long hours; one of this was/is sowing time and the other is harvest time, let us start with sowing times. When I was young the working day at sowing time would start two hours before dawn, because we had to make the horses, mules and other animals ready for working in the fields, we had to feed them and water them as well, it had to be done in such a way that everything should be made ready in order to go into the fields at daybreak. At that time of the year in the morning it would be very cold and there are lots of frosty days, so in the morning the outside temperature could be around zero or below, it is very hard then to harness the horses to the plough as everything one touches is so cold; but then when one gets going it is not so bad, because walking in the fields holding the plough in one hand and guiding the horses with the other hand is hard work and it makes one warm. This type of very hard work at sowing time goes on for about a month if the weather is good and perhaps it could be longer than a month. When the sowing is done then everything slows down again, but we had still to look after the farms’ animals and do other farming chores.
Now let us talk about harvest time, since this is the busiest time in the farms, because harvest time is when the farmers collect the fruits of their hard labour that they have done during the year, so there is no time to waste at harvest time, this was and still is the most hectic time of them all for the farmers, and it is a very worrying time too for the farmers as well, you see if something goes wrong all their work goes down the drain for the whole year, so to speak. Here I am talking about mostly how things were run then in the farms when I was young.
Now let me say a few things about today farming, especially about wheat farming, because wheat is one of the main important produce that we need from farming, as I have already said at the beginning of this hub. With wheat we make bread and pasta and other bakery products, therefore is perhaps the most important farm produce that we use. So, let me compare what is changed in wheat farming since I was young:
The following description is the way harvest time used to be when I was young. When I was young we had already a horse drawn harvester that was helping us, this early harvester was able to cut the wheat plants and tie them in bundles, so we were already half way down the track of progress. At this time of the year everybody in the farm works hard and for very long hours, it is very hot at this time of the year and everything is very dry. We get up very early in the morning, we get the horses ready for working by feeding them and watering them, then we harness the horses and set them to pull the harvester, and off we go in the fields for another day of hard work, if everything goes well, we might be able to go over a ten acre field just in one day with this harvester. So the harvester needs two people to get it working, one drives the horses and another regulate the harvester, the harvester goes around the field and leaves these bundles of wheat or other cereal, whatever has been sown in the field. Now these bundles of wheat will be collected in hips around the field and later on when we finish with the harvester, perhaps in a week or two, and then we will go back to the fields with a cart to take everything on a special plot near the farm house, where the trashing machine will be hired and set. When we collect and cart everything to the farm house, we work very long days, we get up before 4 am, but we have a break of two or three hours at lunchtime because it is too hot to do anything, then we go back to work and between real work and looking after the animals we finish at dusk around 8 pm, after that we only have to feed the horses: this sort of work goes on for more than a month and sometimes up to two months, with no breaks at all seven days a week. Everybody in the farm works to their maximum and they are very tired, they are also very worried about the possible fire hazard, and also of any thunder storms at this time of the year, since anyone of these happenings can destroy the whole crop, and a whole year of hard work could go up in smoke. When one goes through these life experiences in the farm one knows that it is really hard life farming, but since this is the only way to grow things for food, we the farmers keep working in our farms to feed the rest of the community.
So we feel that it would be right if the rest of the community should be thanking us for all the hard work that we have done, but it does not happen that way because, even when we are working our guts out, and while we are doing that we are becoming dull, the rest of the community does not care and they label us as dull people, just because we are farm people, but we did our part for our own benefit and also for the benefit of the entire community.
This is how life was then in the small farms of Southern Italy, and this is one of the reasons why I migrated to Australia. 
Dear readers to understand in full the difference of life, you need to read also our next post, Harvesting the very old ways; see you there.  

 Genzano it story
Compare farming
Next time with, Harvesting the very old ways
Some useful links

Some hub links