Farming at Västanvik in the old days

Today the sheep from the Östanvik farm are grazing the fields of the old Västanvik farm. In the background, you can see two old barns at Västanvik. The bigger one was mainly used for storing machines and untreshed grain. The smaller one was used as a shed but also as a sheep-house.
Until 1963 Västanvik was a farm itself. At that time there was yet another barn with a cow-house and a horse-stable as seen on this photo.
The farm was run by Walfrid Fredriksson...
...and his wife Augusta who had the farm under a lease from 1913 to 1963.
The farming was based on some grain production...
(There were about 37 acres (15 hectares) of arable land at Västanvik - a typical small Swedish farm of that time.)
...but the main production was milk (and some beef) from this group of cows.
Milk and porridge was the principal diet in those days.
During the winter, the cows were kept in the cow-house as they are in the winter today at the Östanvik farm.
The bull - with a nose-ring - also resided in the cow-house. His name was always "Mulle".
In the summer the cows were grazing in the forests or in the lower part of Långvik or in the upper part of Lillträsket.
Each morning and each evening the cows were brought home for milking in the cow-house.
Nedra Lillträsket 1944. Foto: Valter Fredriksson. (VFN018)
At that time Lillträsket was a first-class cultivated area. Here with grazing cows in the late summer of 1944. Since then the ground - which has been the bottom of a lake - has settled. Today the whole area is a bit marshy and most of it is slowly being covered by bushes and trees.
Nedra Lillträsket 1944. Foto: Valter Fredriksson. (VFN011Ed)
Lillträsket, 1944. Valter Fredriksson berättar i Skärgård nr 45:

Lillträsket - det är gärdena ovanför Långvik mot Västerängen till. Från början måste det ha varit en grund sjö som man börjat dika ur och odla upp. Men det var ju mossjord och sådan jord odlas liksom bort. Så då vart den oanvändbar åtminstone i de sanka områdena. Runt 1917 sprängde dom dän berget i gränsen mot Långvik så dom kom ner en och en halv meter i berget. Far min berättade att när dom sänkte vattennivån - då när vattnet gick ur - då sjönk markytan i Lillträsket med en meter och litet till. Men sedan fortsatte marken att långsamt sjunka. Sådan dymark den håller en mansålder. Sedan är den förbrukad. Jorden odlas bort och det sjunker. Det är ju inte så lyckat, men det är ju bra för stunden. Så här såg det ut 1944 i nedre ändan på Lillträsket. Det är alldeles nyplöjt. Bilden visar gärdet närmast Långvik. På backen i mitten brukade vi ställa en höstack - så den kallade vi Stackbacken.

Utfallsdiket från Lillträsket mot Långvik. Omkring 1944. Foto: Valter Fredriksson.
Hästarna Putte och Bläsen framför självbindaren i Långvik, 1944. Foto: Valter Fredriksson.
Around all fields this type of fence were winding - otherwise the cows would have good times on the fields. If you found some cultivated land, you also found these wooden fences at the border where the forest started. In the 1950's the farmer started to repair decayed fences with barbed wire.
Not until the end of the 1950's the Västanvik farmer bought a tractor. Before that Walfrid had two horses - Putte and Bläsen - to draw various things. Here on their way up to the stable.
This is Anders Dahlgren taking care of the horses. Probably in 1953.
Harrowing in Långvik in 1944.
The horses in front of the binder in Långvik in 1944.
Dung handling was very manual. Though usually Walfrid did not shovel the dung like this. He had a wheelbarrow without sides which he drove out on the dunghill on the other side of the barn.
Now it is time to have the winter dung transported and spread out on the fields.
The horses in front of the manure truck.
The hay was first piled on drying racks and then loaded into the hey-cart. All of it done by hand.
Walfrid is plowing at Västanvik. Probably in 1950.
In the time before the horses, Walfrid used oxen. Here, in 1938, he is cutting grain. That was before the time of the binder.
The oxen were very friendly but a bit tardy.
The hey-cart is run up in front of the barn.
August 1929.
The unloading of hey was done by hand. There was no hey blower, like at the Östanvik farm today.
Augusta and her eldest son, Sixten, rest while the photo is taken. August 1929.
Also in the winter, the oxen were used for work.
The parson's wife, Karin Röttorp, had her camera with when she met Walfrid with the snowplow equipage on the third day after Christmas Eve 1938.
The barns at Västanvik in 1961.
Photos taken by: Carl I Dahlgren , Margit Danielson, Valter Fredriksson, Lars-Åke Larsson, Tore Regnell, Karin Röttorp, Unknown.

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