Poingdestre:Crops

From theislandwiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Picking tomatoes, a crop introduced to Jersey long after Poingdestre's times

Ye whole Island especially towards the West, South and Southwest parts is a continued series of hills dales and meadowes lying betweene them, some indeed stony and barren as to corne, but for the most part capable of some kind of husbandry, as trees and Orchards, or at least pasture of sheepe, and fewell, Feme Furzes and broome.

Open farmland

It lay heretofore, about a hundred years since, allmost open, with fewe inclosures in it and very fewe Orchards; the ordinary drinke of those times being, not as at present cydar, but a kind of meade made of hony as ye principall ingredient, of two sorts; the one called Vittoe, soe strong, that it made men drunk as cydar doth nowe ; from whence there is still a Proverb used among the People: " Vous estes Envittoe," for one who knowes not what he doth : ye other sort was called Boschet ; for then the people orignally applyed themselves to the keeping of beées, which since by ye multiplying of apple-trees hath by degrees been neglected ; and those sorts of drinke left off utterly.

Six-horned sheep

As likewise that kind of sheep whereof the females had most times foure hornes, and the rams oft-times six, that is three of each side, whereof two made a circle towards the nose, two others another circle back-wards towards the eares, and two stood upright betweene them, which kind was of a small size, is allmost abolished, by the substitution of a larger kind, like those in Salisbury plaine, brought, I suppose, out of England.

Likewise in lieu of Vittoe and boshet ye auncient drinke Cydar is at present alltogether in vogue: wee have likewise made use of perry heretofore, before Cydar was soe plentifull as it is nowe, but at present it is soe little regarded that labourers and servants will hardly drinke of it: for Cydar is growne so plentifull that it serves not onely for common use even to excesse; but much of it might be spared for transportation.

Reluctant workers

For of late times people finding the proffitt arising from Improvement of ground by orchards to be farre above that which they had afore by Tillage, they have soe universally applyed themselves to make fences for ye preservacon of theire Apple-trees that the whole Island was in danger of becoming, at last, a continued orchard, if care had not been taken to put a stopp to that unlimited inclination of ye Inhabitants. By which meanes husbandry is nowe soe decay'd that whereas formerly there grewe more corne in ye Island, then was sufficient for its provision, and that much of it was transported abroad, nowe on ye contrary, it must be beholding to Britany and other places beyond sea, for one half, at least, of what is spent there.

For besides the increase of Apples, the people, who were wont to attend Tillage, a painefull occupation, and sowing of hemp and flax for ye making of linnen cloth, finding nowe by experience more ease in knitting of stockings and wastcots, have soe generally, men women and children, given themselves that waye, that none will assist husbandmen, but with repugnancy, and at such rates, as cannot consist with that moderate price at which foraigne Corne is sold in the market.

Fast-growing wheat

There is a kind of wheat very common with us, and of Rye likewise, called Treméz, Trimestre, because it remaineth in ye ground from sowing to reaping not pass't Three months; for it is sowed iust with ye Barley in ye end of March and ail ye moneth of Aprill; whereby it happens that in forward summers it may be reaped within Sixty or Seventy days from its sowing. On the contrary oates, which in England are sowed in ye Spring, are in Jersey, for the most part, sowed before Christmas, yea before the Wheat or Rye; and they growe much longer then in England; the stalke being commonly foure or five foot high. The manner of reaping the Corne is with the sickle dented and not smooth, by handfulls putt together very orderly, and then bound up in sheafes, and after that stacked ye eare inward and ye stalke without, even the Barley and Oates, with litle losse, but somewhat more paines. The Ordinary fewell is wood, which groweth plentifully ail ye Island over, not onely in sett Rowes along the High wayes, affoarding shade in Summer and shelter in Winter, but alsoe upon the fences and hedges, and is lopped once in finve or Six yeares for fewell. Besides which the hedges are planted with white and blacke thorne and with willowes : and ye barren hills affoard firzes and feme, which serve with Sea Vraic for ye kitchin, and without it for baking, and for brewing when Cydar slacks.

Personal tools
Donate

Please support theislandwiki.org with a donation to our hosting costs