I can only write about the works after the expropriation and "collectivization", i.e. the foundation of the CAP (Agricultural Production Cooperative). It will probably not have been much different before.

Throughout the year the cattle had to be fed: feeding three times a day, cleaning out the stables, etc. These were 1-2 cows, pigs, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys. And dogs and cats.


After the cultivation (sowing), one had to strive that one maintains the garden also beautifully around a good harvest to get. The soil had to be kept free of weeds and as loose as possible. The beets were chopped twice, the corn was "chopped" once and the second time it was chopped and "piled up" so that it survived the often strong summer storms and did not kill itself. For the same reason the potatoes were "heaped" twice. It was very important, because the Charlottenburg soil is very loamy, that you didn't work in the wet. If one worked in the wet, floes formed which could be very hard. Since it could not be avoided sometimes, I can still remember the clod clod. There one threshed with the heel housing so long on the floes until they were smashed.

The most important work in summer was "making hay". The CAP assigned a piece of meadow every year (sometimes even that what was his property before the expropriation). From June the mowing started. Of course with the scythe and not with some grass mower (they were expropriated). Mowing was best done in the morning dew. Therefore one mowed early in the morning (from about 4-5 o'clock to 10 o'clock at the latest). For a piece of cattle, one needed as far as I can still remember approx. 10-15 meters of hay (1 meter = 100 kg). Since you only got one third (two thirds you had to give to the CAP), you had to mow and bring in three times as much as needed. The haymaking went on until the end of September. The first step was mowing. After that you had to hope for nice weather and turn the hay after a few days. After the scythe cut the hay lies on mowing. After that they turned. (Turning means turning the mowing over once so that it dries on the lower side). After a few more days as far as the weather went, the hay was tamed and the shed was made which then stayed on the meadow until you had the time to bring in the hay. In September was the second cut, the so-called Gromet. The grass was much softer than at the first cut and therefore of better quality, but the amounts were much smaller.

The schnaps called "Raki" distil was also a highlight. The mash was brought to the Raki kettle and "distilled" from October to November, depending on the time of day. It was burned non stop. Depending on how much mash one had, this could go over 24 hours and even longer.

The season for the wild boar herding (actually it should be called corn herding), started as soon as the first cobs have formed, is called June-July and ended with the harvest, that is September. In the dusk it started and ended with the dawn. So that it was a bit more comfortable and one did not catch a cold in some colder nights, one built a hut out of branches or bales of straw in which one fell asleep after midnight or in the early morning. If you were unlucky and the dog (the dogs) didn't strike, the wild pigs raged, and herding was a cat's breakfast. They usually had a so-called carbide pipe with which to fire and hoped that the pigs would be frightened and stay away. But it wasn't always like that. It could happen that at the other end, despite the noise, the maize field was turned into a battlefield. The pipe was about 1 m long and had a diameter of about 5-10 cm, closed at the lower end and provided 10-15 cm above it with an "ignition hole". The pipe was rammed a few cm into the ground, a piece of carbide into the pipe, some water over it and waited a few seconds until explosive gases (acetylene) formed. Then hold a match or lighter to the detonation hole. There was a jet of flame at the top of the pipe and a violent bang. The bang was louder the longer and thicker the pipe was.

The corn leaves cut was not without its difficulties. Since the corn leaves were quite rough and unpleasant on the skin, this work was done at night on a full moon.

The tobacco harvest was not as exciting as the "wild boar hiede" for a long time. It started with the allocation of a plot from the CAP. The planting stock also came from the LPG. Planting took place in May, after which it was chopped and piled up twice. The harvest started in July. The leaves on the stem were broken from bottom to top. The lower leaves were called "sand leaves" because they were dirty and sandy (the reason was the rain that hit the ground and swirled it up). As soon as the first 3-5 lower leaves were nicely yellow, the breaking started. It took 4-5 breaks until all the leaves were harvested. The leaves were carefully stacked on top of each other so that no folds or cracks formed, and were driven home by wheelbarrow or horse-drawn carriage. There they were "sewn in" on a 2-3 m long string in a timely manner, at the latest the next day (so that they do not begin to ferment on the stack). The next step was to hang them up in an airy and dry place (barn or corn store). The tobacco is then dried depending upon weather 3 to 4 weeks slowly and got hopefully a nice yellow color. It was then peeled, which means that bunches of about 20-30 leaves were formed, which were then sorted into bales according to quality. The bales had to be sold to the state. The leaves were not allowed to be very dry for tufting so that they would not break. So it was necessary to make sure that they were somewhat attractive and supple. If I remember correctly, we brought the strings to the cellar or wine chamber in the morning and in the evening, when the leaves were supple, we tufted them until deep into the night.

Anyway, it was like that at home. I don't know if this was common, but I think it was.
Anton (Anti) G.

Translated mainly with www.DeepL.com/Translator