Some information for this page has been taken from the excellent book “from Sticks
and Stones, Antlers and Bones” by Mervyn Billot, published by Jersey Heritage Trust.
Our Farming Heritage
As well as our sculpture collection we also have a large number of heritage farming
equipment, many of which Nigel remembers using with his Dad !
We were given this donkey cart many years ago, but it was not until, by chance, we
found a magazine article about a firm of wheelwrights called Mike Rowland & Son that
we were able to get it rebuilt - not much of the original remains but it is a splendid
addition to our collection,
The Jersey Royal potato is one of Jersey’s most famous exports. Above, is a horse
drawn potato planting plough - the front wheels are adjustable to determine the row
width. Below left, is a horse drawn scarifier which would have been used to cultivate
between the rows of potatoes, to help them grow and stop weeds growing. When the
haulms were big enough, the next job was banking (earthing up) - below right is a
hand drawn banker and at the bottom is a horse drawn version - banking ensured the
maximum crop of potatoes and ensured none were exposed to be turned green by sunlight.
These implements were made locally in iron works, such as Le Cappelain in St Peter’s
- a business which is still trading today but providing more domestic services -
we have one of their small trailers.
You needed an excellent horse which could walk down the rows without it’s hooves
standing on the potatoes - Nigel remembers pulling a hand drawn banker (acting as
the horse), with his father guiding it behind, and Nigel had to ensure that he didn’t
stand on the potatoes !
The Planet range of implements were probably used all over the world; made in America
the local agent was John Jones of Mulcaster Street, St Helier from the beginning
of the 20th Century.
This is a Planet Junior seed drill - seeds were put in the hopper and it was possible
to adjust the drill according to the size of the seed and the rate of flow of seeds.
The front wheel has a gear wheel which operates the feeder.
The adjustable marker created a line for the next row.
Nigel’s Dad used one of these to sow, among other things, carrot seed until he retired
in the 1990’s, working models are still in use today.