A Remembrance of the Past; Building for the Future." ~ Eve Eckert Koehler

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors

Agriculture From 1784 of Mother Communities in the Batschka

by Peter Lang
Translation by Brad Schwebler

   The first colonists in our mother communities cultivated fruit (wheat), Halbfrucht / half fruit (wheat and rye mixed), oats, hemp, very little corn, potatoes, and other vegetables.  The wine cultivation was forbidden in the beginning.  The rye cultivation was soon given up because the wheat paid better. Here I would also like to mention that the rye, especially the Hungarian, because of the ergot (mother grains) in the first six months after the harvest were very poisonous. (further information by Walter Hückel: Lecture about the pharmaceutical chemistry and drug synthesis, 1954 issue.)  This may well be the reason for the expression in the proverb: The first had the death, the second had the need, and the third had the bread.  I accepted that the settlers during the first two years used more rye meal either from general need or at least from thrift, especially shortly after the harvest, than in the later years and the old established ways, which already had fat and meat from their own production.  This theory was confirmed by a statement on page 74 of the book “The German Colonist” by Eimann.  There it was reported that two judges (mayors) were lost in Siwatz in the time from July to August 1786, so it was immediately after the rye harvest (28th of June).

[Published at by Jody McKim Pharr, 2005]

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