Mudcat Café message #3385661 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146242   Message #3385661
Posted By: GUEST
03-Aug-12 - 01:47 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
Subject: RE: Folklore: Songs, poems etc about ploughmen/boys
> From: theleveller
>
> ploughing an acre a day

A second attempt at posting this ...

Hopefully you are aware that many units of length and area, including the acre, have a distant agricultural basis:

Acre

"During the Middle Ages, an acre was the amount of land that could be plowed in one day with an ox."

Furlong

"
Farm-derived units of measurement:

   1. The rod is a historical unit of length equal to 5 yards. It may have originated from the typical length of a mediaeval ox-goad.
   2. The furlong (meaning furrow length) was the distance a team of oxen could plough without resting. This was standardised to be exactly 40 rods.
   3. An acre was the amount of land tillable by one man behind one ox in one day. Traditional acres were long and narrow due to the difficulty in turning the plough.
   4. An oxgang was the amount of land tillable by one ox in a ploughing season. This could vary from village to village, but was typically around 15 acres.
   5. A virgate was the amount of land tillable by two oxen in a ploughing season.
   6. A carucate was the amount of land tillable by a team of eight oxen in a ploughing season. This was equal to 8 oxgangs or 4 virgates.
"

BTW, I'm a farmer's son and former farmworker, and always have, and still do, eat a lunch consisting of a cheese sandwich, or a 'doorstep' of bread or a roll cut in two, with butter and a slab of cheese on it - so ploughmen DO eat Ploughman's Lunches!

Also, although it's probably too modern to be of interest to you, I've written a poem about the agricultural year which mentions ploughing:

A Year In Essex