WORKING INTO THE FLAT COUNTRY 199
The first grain grown on the Treffry farm appears to have been threshed by "rushing." In order to thresh in this way, a pole was placed horizontally two feet above the floor of the barn or cabin, and then as much wheat as one could hold in his hands was beaten over this pole to thresh out the grain. One entry in the diary relates that Mr. Treffry spent most of a day in "rushing" sixty-six sheaves, from which a bushel and a half of wheat was obtained. After being threshed the grain was put on sheets to dry and then sent to a neighbour's to be put through a ''winnowing-machine," the primitive fanning-mill of that day. Fodder corn was harvested in a wheel-barrow. The production of the grain itself involved equally strenuous and unremitting toil. The fences surrounding the new clearings were made of green brush, and when the brush dried these fences formed a very indifferent protection to growing crops. It is not surprising, therefore, to find one diary record stating that Mr. Treffry spent the whole of one night "keeping cattle out of the oats." Crops produced at such cost in labour had to be cared for, and the diary tells us that the whole of the Treffry family got up between two and three one morning, when rain threatened, to stack sheaves of wheat that had been left lying in the field after the previous day's cutting. Naturally, despite all these labours, there were periods of shortage, and on October 5th, 1835, the diary states that it had been found necessary to borrow "five pounds of flour and four pounds of Indian meal, hein,m quite out of bread."
Winter cold and summer heat brought their