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Date:11/1/2014 4:16:26 AM
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Farm Implements, Part I
I suppose I could have entitled this "The Hoe, Part VI (or whatever). In any event, I wanted to discuss the old and archaic tools we still use at La Ferme Sabloneuse. The first is an adze, or mattock. It is used to root up earth for planting and cultivating. It was mentioned as far back as 700 BC in which Hesiod, in his work, "Work and Days" instructs readers on agriculture. I have searched, and cannot find, the treatise from the late Roman Republic writer (either Virgil or Ovid) who longed for the old days when a Roman Senator would give discourse in the Senate during the day and then repair to his land on the edge of Rome in the evening and use his mattock to turn over ground for the next year's crop.

I hereby admit that I might have been remiss in my research of the term "dega hoe". I thought that the word "dega" might have derived from the Spanish "degollar", to decapitate. I got the bright idea to research my own heritage and look up the French term closest to "dega". I am chagrined to relate that the French verb "degarnir" means "to thin out" or "to prune". Hello! (My bad) Of course this probably means nothing to anyone except me, but I want to be honest.

The next photo is of the five-point cultivator. Dear belle soeur Susie had obtained a three-point cultivator that had belonged to her pa. A cultivator, whether it be hand held or attached to a tractor, is simply a device used to disturb the soil in order to retard weed growth. The five-point cultivator had belonged to a tough old man who I had gotten to know while delivering mail in Green Bay. Where the cultivator originated I do not know, but I had admired it as it hung in his garage. Old Buck Baenen, (that was his name) took a liking to me. He said that it was actually his niece's; that he had borrowed it. But later on, shortly before his death, he got word to me to come over to his house and pick it up. Ol' Buck told me that I probably would do it more justice than his niece's druggie son. And so I have. Whenever I use it, I think of ol' Buck and smile. More next time. --Gary
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