Working in the fields

During the time of David the monks had to grow their own food which they shared with the poor who came to them for help. They could not go to the local supermarket because there were no shops.

The monks grew vegetables in the monastery garden and in the fields they grew corn. After grinding the corn into flour this was then used to make bread.

Today, farmers use modern machinery when harvesting crops, but long ago there were no tractors, trailers, combine harvesters or other machinery which could help them, apart from a simple plough.

Monks in monasteries found the plough a great help. The weight of the plough was pulled through the soil by oxen. However, David was so strict that he would not let his monks use oxen; they attached the yoke to their shoulders and pulled the plough themselves! David also ploughed fields in this way. Although this would have been very hard, tiring work, the monks did not complain.

David believed that hard work was important. It kept the monks busy and meant that they did not have time to be distracted by the things around them. They did not talk unless it was necessary. By not talking they were able to think about what they had learnt in church or in their lessons about God.

After working in the fields the monks returned to the monastery and spent the rest of the day reading, writing or praying.

The illustration is from a Welsh book called "Dewi Sant" by Alun Ifans (published by Gwasg Aeron),
who has kindly given his permission for it to be used in this project