Readers here know that every Thursday I post an old agriculture photo, often a field showing the use of animal labor or old farm equipment. Regardless of whatever “foodie” outlook or feelings of food supremacy we have, the fact is, we have gained leisure time by the industrialization of agriculture over these past decades which has freed us from the endless hours previously spent doing physical labor to put food on the table.
Reminding ourselves about the past probably means different things to different people. One person feels nostalgic. Younger people become educated about the ways of the past. Still others expect peak oil and resource depletion (or pick your own collapse scenario) to return us to old methods of production out of necessity, and so look back to look forward.
In this post, I’d like to introduce you to a few sites which are more fully devoted to Luddite information. (If you know of others, please leave a comment below.)
No Tech Magazine‘s motto is We believe in progress and technology. To give you an example, the following are five agriculture-related posts from the site:
- Fences of Fruit Trees
- The Homemade Windmills of Nebraska (1899)
- Handy Farm Devices and How to Make Them
- Hand Powered Apple Peelers
- Micro-Livestock: Little known small animals with a promising economic future
Low-tech Magazine is the sister publication of “No Tech Magazine.” It refuses to assume that every problem has a high-tech solution and is written by Kris De Decker of Barcelona, Spain. These next links are from the site:
- Recycling Animal and Human Dung is the Key to Sustainable Farming
- Bring Back the Horses
- How to make your own low tech vertical farm
- Lost Knowledge: Ropes and Knots
If you grew up on a farm like I did, you no doubt saw the no-longer-used horse collars and other hand tools hanging in barns or machinery sheds on your farm kept around “just in case”. People who lived through the Great Depression simply didn’t throw useful things away. You may still use a personal favorite scythe or other farm tool from your family’s stash.
Personally, I love seeing the old European photos included on the sites included here, since they are in some cases older and different from the new world’s.
Back in February, I introduced you to Open Source Ecology, entrepreneurs out of Missouri who are making DIY plans for the Global Village Construction Set which includes a wind turbine, a bulldozer, and an electric motor/generator, to name a few. One of Marcin Jakubowski’s latest projects is the technical drawing for a steam engine. (Jakubowski was originally from Poland with an advanced degree in fusion physics.)
See previous posts:
- Aid to Permaculturists: The Global Village Construction Set
- TED Talk: Missouri Farmer with a PHD in Fusion Energy Now Designs Farm Machinery
And, finally, there is another site worth drooling over, Antique Farm Tools. This amazing site has photographs and drawings of well over 800 tools used by our ancestors. Like…
The home page explains:
Peter Charles Dorrington collected and restored over 750 antique farm tools between 1985 and 2001. Most of these tools were agricultural hand implements and fenland tools that were used in England, Wales and Scotland, dating from about 1600 to 1940, for example: “chaff cutters”, “flails”, scythes”, “dibbers” and “breast ploughs”. Photographs of roughly half of the tools that are still in the collection are included here.
Go to the site and you will find photos of old wooden hay rakes, oxen yokes, potato planters, and countless other tools which were used in England, Wales and Scotland from as early as 1600.