And so to mid-Devon where much of the combed wheat straw used in thatching is produced.
The demands of modern agriculture have created a sheaf of wheat that has a very high yield but with a shorter straw stem length, perfect for combine harvesters, whereas wheat for use in thatching is altogether different but primarily taller, and requires lighter weight equipment, and a more delicate approach.
Ford 3000 tractor seen below comes from the USA and the binder that is towing
behind it, which essentially replaced a human with a scythe, was also a US invention,
dating back to 1872. The binder cuts the crop and ties it into sheaves; visually
it has changed very little since its first creation. The two machine operators
Both thatching and harvesting have their own glossaries,
vocabularies unique both to their vernacular and to the evolution of the crafts
In my next newsletter I’ll be taking a look at bindering,
stooking, stamping, draying and threshing.