Watching the plow go by
Planting comes to the valley

Spring 2000:

Manure in winterPreparations begin in the depths of winter, when farmers spread 'gunoi,' or composted manure, on their fields.



Smearing manure on the fields   




Once the snows clear, they hitch their horse to a bunch of branches, weigh it down with some stones, and smear the gunoi out on the ground.

Here, grandson helps out his bunico (grandpa).

Preparing the beans   

At home, they take apart the bean pods and carefully examine each seed.






Onions are planted in three stages: seeds to bulbs, bulbs to eating onions, and eating onions to seed pods, like seen here.



While frost still threatens, people prune their fruit and berry trees.


Burning brush   


There's no use for all the mounds of wood sticks. After a few have been taken for bark for baskets, the rest are set aflame.

The valleys and hillsides are covered with clouds of smoke.


Swivel plow   


Once the ground is hard enough, plowing begins.

The best kind of plow to have is this swivel plow. Instead of plowing around in circles, it lets you plow in lines across a field, one line right after the other.



That means the horses get an even load. It's harder on the one in the plowed section because the earth drags on their feet. With a fixed plow, the furrow side horse is always on the furrow side. With a swivel plow, the two horses take turns.

Field seeds   



Throwing seeds   



They still plant the field crops by throwing the seeds from a pan.

Peasant and Kathleen   




Kathleen commiserates on how much work it is to break up the clods of plowed earth with a hoe.

Women hoeing   


Land is owned by individual families, but as one old lady said "what can one person do against a field this big?"

They band together by family or friendship groups and gang-hoe each other's land.

Potato planting   





Here, onion mounds are being planted.




Every family packs a couple of baskets of food and snacks all day long as they get hungry. This day was a 'fast' for Easter, so no meat products allowed.

Bending and planting the onions   



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