A “rake,” meaning to “scrape together,” is basically a broom for outdoor use. It is used to collect leaves, and grasses. In gardening, it can loosen the soil, lightly weed and level. In agricultural work, such as on the Stows’ Rancho La Patera, it “scraped together” rows of hay or grain.
Rakes are among the oldest of agricultural tools, and haven’t changed much in design over the centuries. Rakes with long handles and wooden tines (prongs or sharp points) have been found in China dating back to 1100 B.C. Eventually, rakes were made of metal to add strength and durability to use as an implement in heavier agricultural applications.