Mallet from the village of Allested
"Stavrekølle" (mallet) from Allested. A mallet was used to hammer posts into the ground around the fields. Between the posts were woven wattle fences to keep the animals out. The "stavrekølle" is now at Møntergården in Odense. Photo: Jens Gregers Aagaard.
A 'stavrekølle' was used to hammer posts into the ground. Rods of hazel or willow were woven between them. Erecting fences around the village fields was a huge task that had to be done before 1st May to prevent the cattle from entering the arable fields.
From soil to table
Around 6,000 years ago, the first farmers on the isle of Funen began to cultivate the soil and keep livestock. Until 1950, agriculture was the main line of work on the island, but today only 5,000 of the island's inhabitants work in agriculture, market gardening and the food industry.
The village and communal cultivation, 1000-1800
Most farmers on the isle of Funen lived in villages with an average of 12 farms. The village was surrounded by arable fields, pasture and woodland which the farmers owned and cultivated. From c. 1200, they began to cultivate the soil communally according to a principle of sharing the village’s good and poor land between the individual farms.
In the fields
The fields were ploughed in both spring and autumn to form ridges and furrows. Ploughing was heavy work and was done by the men, but both men and women took part in the harvest. The men cut the corn while the women raked it together and bound it into sheaves. The women used various techniques for binding the sheaves in order to ensure the best possible drying process. On Funen, sheaves were placed in 'skok' – stacks of 6-12 – or 'ornesteder' – stacks of 10-20.
This location is part of the exhibition 'Funen – at the centre of the universe', at Møntergården in Odense. Read more about the exhibition on our website.