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Page 39 - Farmer John Eyking: The Holland Years

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1 (264 reads)

block it.) And you would give it a good flap--hard (a slap with a shovel)--kind of a little bit. (So it's not just, shoveled in a pile.) No, no, no--everything was an art. Every thing had to be perfect; it was just no fooling around. I mean, when you dig that hole, you didn't leave a little hole of soil in that sec? ond foot; you clean it nice up. Because (you didn't want) disease problems from the top to fall. So in the spring of the year, you would level that out. Although we had other chores then, too, because the tulips and the hyacinths--everything started to come up, you had to weed them. Other places, other fields. This (the field dug 3 feet) was just 1/5 of the acreage--you would do that every year. The oth? er acres you would only dig one foot. (You mean you would also dig. . . .) Everything. All the land would be dug by hand. A spadeful at a time. (So you'd either be turning the topsoil over once, a top foot over once; or you would be doing the special field that you went down to the third foot.) This is the long planning, this field. In the spring, you would level it off. (How? With horses? John laughs.) No. There was no horse in the whole community. See, we had a horse to haul, perhaps, stuff to market? place. But we didn't want a horse around in the garden with his big foot. First of all, it would take space. We planted close-- there was no place to walk, hardly. I'm perhaps unique in that explanation--if you talk to other Dutch people--because'I come from a very intensive area where land was very, very valuable, very high-priced, and everybody did it, so it was all right. You leveled it off. We used to have spe? cial equipment, because the soil"-you couldn't use it here (in Cape Breton). Be? cause here, the minute you dig, you need a pick or some stupid shovel. We used to have--they came from Sweden, and they were big forks with flat teeth. Anjrway they would be leveled off. (These big forks with flat teeth, were they "machinery"?) In the hands (just hand tools), hands-- there was not such a thing as any machine in the bulb industry. For almost a century there was no change. The biggest change I saw up to that time was a wheelbarrow changed from a wooden wheel to an air tire. And the solid wheel on the wagon changed to an air tire from an old truck. First of all, there were not trucks, hardly, before the war. But then after the war somebody got the idea, "Gee, why don't I put the old axle from the Model T under my 'horse wagon." Because before, they were all solid wood with an ''S iron. ... And we had '<' t ?? ' '' • "'?3[f,?;' wheelbarrows--if you had ''??;.. y ''-z* lifted today--the wheel- ''t jf''' • . barrow alone is a half a ton! They'd be solid wood, made by special people--you didn't make them yourself in those days. That's another thing I'd like to mention. Everything in the trade was done by anoth? er trade. Even painting the house, we would get a painter. That's the way it was. And if you get a wagon made, you go to the wagon maker, and you plan it right. And that thing would be well built, last you a lifetime. The wood had to be aged. So anyway, (my father) would have planned already before the winter, and he would have bought X-cubic metre of old manure-- it had to be old. So he had dealt with the farmer. Because we were on the coast. And we had no animals. So we would dig (enough) for about a hundred cubic metre. In those days, when I left, they were al? ready $5 a cubic metre. And it was well rotten, good old cow manure. Official Home of "Your Pace or Mine?" 1!' Ahhass Studta Ltd. C ONE HOUR FILM PROCESSING ) Passport Photographs While You Wait 5" X 7" Enlargements or Reprints in Only 20 Minutes! Weddings • Commercial & Industrial • Family Groups • Graduation ABBASS STUDIO LTD. 170 Townsend St., Sydney * 564-8234 or 564-6491 OVER 40 YEARS OF SERVICE TO CAPE BRETON
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