The real cost of peasant farming spelt out
I broadcast the grains of spelt (an old wheat variety) at the very end of last year, over a patch of maybe 1.5 square yards. The grew up before anything else, much, and thus largely smothered any weeds. For months I watched and occasionally watered, but that's not been necessary recently.
Then when everything looked rather yellow I cut off the heads with a pair of secateurs (not many wheat farmers use those!) and bunged the lot into a thick linen bag and gave it a jolly good pummelling till the seeds had mostly come away from the chaff.
It took a while to winnow the chaff away, which I achieved by grabbing odd handfuls and gently tossing them in the air while blowing - this scattered the chaff but left the grain to fall back into my hands.
Took about two hours
By the end, I weighed just under 700 grammes of grain - more than enough for a loaf of bead, but I have no idea how to turn it into flour...
Not too bad a yield (4840/1.5*0.7) 2.25 tonnes per acre, he should be happy with that, though it was hand tended. Labour costs? Two hours threshing, maybe another two planting, tending, and harvesting? What would you value JPs time at? £5.73 an hour - he should get the minimum wage even though he is unskilled.
£32,000 for a tonne of Spelt - 100 times the market price, so it turns out his labour was only worth 5 pence an hour
And that is why industrialisation of farming is at the heart of prosperity, because he should have been doing else rather than growing spelt with his time, if it isn't to be just a rather interesting hobby.