Hufe

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A Hufe is an old German land measurement, in different regions it can differ in size mostly between 30 to 80 acres ; that means 7.5 to 20 hectares.

It was meant that one hufe of land would be able to support and maintain a farmer's family, depending on the quality of soil.

The hufe's were mostly long strips of arable land, beginning at the village road where the farm was, and extending over 500 metres, and being 200 metres wide. At the end of the Hufe there was often a woodland, where people were able to collect wood for cooking, heating and tools. In the course of time one Hufe, cultivated by a family, was split into many pieces of various sizes, and scattered over the whole village boundary, due to exchanges, marriages and sales. Hufe was also a tax term, it meant for each Hufe consisting of arable land, meadows, woods and the farm, people had to pay a fixed amount of tax.

Someone who cultivated a whole Hufe was called Hufner or Vollhufner. According to this, a Hufe divided in two was cultivated by two Halbhufners (half-Hufners). Of course there were Zweihufner, Dreihufner etc. (two-Hufner, three-Hufner) too, depending on the wealth of the family. Smaller pieces of land, because of their size that couldn't support someone's livelyhood, were called Büdner or Kätner, depending on the region.

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