Harvesting

Farmers had to plant seeds by hand if they did not have seed drills powered by horses or tractors. There are corn planters in our collections and a canvas seed spreader. Before threshing machines became common in Ontario in the late nineteenth century, farmers had to thresh by hand using wooden flails. They placed the sheaves of grain on a solid threshing floor and beat them with a flail. The grain fell out onto the floor and the farmers were able to fork away the straw. They then had to winnow the grain to get rid of the chaff, dust and any weed seeds.