Farming at Christian's Spring
Farming at Christian’s Spring was accomplished with hand labor. The fields were plowed with wooden plows pulled by oxen and then sown and cultivated by hand. Grains and hay were cut with sickles and flails were used to remove the chaff from the grain. The diary of Christian’s Spring mentions that single sisters, Native American converts, and children came from surrounding Moravian communities to help during sowing, reaping, and threshing seasons. These diary entries provide an intimate knowledge of what it took to produce food for numerous families.
Daily Diary Entries:
March 7, 1757: The brethren went to work again; two brethren were taken out from thrashing and with three others were sent to break flax. The masons were working in Nazareth, and the carpenters were continuing with cutting wood for the Gnadenthal barn; our wagon took wheat to Bethlehem.
April 26, 1757: With sowing the oat-seed we have finished today and we have sown in all about 60 acres. Now the sowing of the barley begins.
April 10, 1758: We are sowing on about 68 acres oats seed.
April 9, 1760: We were thankful to the Saviour for his rich blessings which He has poured out over our fields. We have reaped this winter over 3700 bushels of wheat, corn, oats buckwheat and have threshed it out.
July 6, 1767: Br. Lembke arrived here at 6 o’clock in the morning, and with pleasure he held the harvest lovefeast and he wished that everything among us may go in peace and with blessing, especially in such a scattered work as ours, and we noticed the presence of the Lord. The reapers went with joy to their work.
October 12, 1765: Today we finished bringing in the buckwheat. We have also gathered the apples, which we want to have for the winter-season. This year we have been richly blessed with the most produce of the field and with the produce of the garden. If we only use all with a thankful heart.