[ Havrebjerg]


The village of Havrebjerg near Slagelse exemplifies how the Danish agrarian reforms changed both the natural and built environment. After the Agrarian Reform of 1788, farms were moved out of the villages. On new land and in newly built farms, the occupants set about improving farming practices. At Kragsbjerggård northwest of Havrebjerg, developments were especially rapid. In 1810, Søren Pedersen took over his father's farm. He created a kitchen garden and planted new crops such as wheat and clover. He obtained better tools and converted the farm buildings. Even a flower garden complete with fence and gate was added.

A new breed of farmers

  • Story written by: Gudrun Gormsen
  • Time / Periode 1778 1838

Søren Pedersen, a farmer and officer of the parish, was born in 1776. Although a tenant farmer like his father before him, his outlook was quite different. His father had been dependent on the landowner and the village community. Søren Pedersen's diary entries tell us that: He was somewhat given to drunkeness, but otherwise a good fellow" and "bold in asserting his rights before both superiors and inferiors". After 1800, the landowner extorted high charges from his tenant farmers on renewal of their tenancies, and the charges were to be paid on time. Søren Pedersen now declined "a large wedding with scores of guests for many days". Instead, he received 200 rix-dollars in cash. Favouring hard work, efficiency and frugality over drinking, gambling and brawling, Søren Pedersen was a new breed of farmer. The farm was what counted – not village life. "

Read more about Havrebjerg at 1001fortællinger.dk