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Misht

By Teresa Mosset Zachmeier

Article printed with permission from the Mosset Reunion Book, 1980


All winter long, the cow manure was dumped in one spot. In the spring of the year after springs’ work was done, the manure was leveled out to about 18 inches thick and in a circle shape. After a rain, the manure was tramped with a horse team of four horses in front and 4 horses in back tandem style until the manure was flat, hard, and about 3 inches thick.

Grandpa Mosset had to work the manure several times before it became solid. He couldn’t do it all in one day.

Then the solid manure was cut with a spade into about 12 inch square blocks. The blocks were set on edge to dry out by the wind. Next they were set into a cross shape similar to a cross pile grain shock for further drying. After complete drying, the blocks were stacked into “misht” stacks.

The misht mixture was used for all types of heating and cooking. They would use a hammer to break the misht block into pieces so that it would fit into the old fashioned cook stove.

The misht would hold the heat whereas wood loses its heat the minute it is burned up.

So many times we are told in history class to look to our ancestors for answers to our present day problems. Could this be the answer to heating energy consumption?

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