Living with the seasons on a seigneury
Late April to early May
The colonists finished ploughing their land in May. Once this work was done, they could start sowing. Farmers sowed wheat first, because it has a longer growing season. Wheat usually takes about two weeks to sprout. Wheat was the most widely-grown grain. Once the seeds had been sown, the farmer used a harrow to cover them with soil.
Late May to early June
Once the sowing was done, it was time to see to the land. Fences needed to be repaired. More land was cleared and old stumps were removed.
Late June to early July
During this brief period, there was less to do on the farm. Farmers would sometimes go to town to sell wood to the townspeople who needed it to heat their homes.
Late July to early August
The hay was cut and harvested over a three-week period starting in late July. The few farmers who grew barley harvested those crops, too.
Late August to early September
Around the last week of August, everyone had to help with the harvest, which was stored in the barn. The wheat was then thrashed and the grain was separated from the chaff. Only the grain was ground into flour.
Late September to mid-November
Once the harvests had been stored, the farmer began the hard work of ploughing to get the land ready for sowing next spring.
November to April
Life was slower in the winter months. People stayed home and made or repaired all sorts of useful items and tools like benches or rakes. Women spun and wove wool.
Author: Léon Robichaud
See also – Traces of the past: