Cedar Creek Plow Day
Cedar Creek Plow Day
Emery Edwards turning over red Tennessee soil with a two-horse plow.

Cedar Creek Plow Day – A Young Boy’s Dream Come True!

by Emery P. Edwards of Linden, TN
photos & captions by Ida Livingston

As a young boy I told myself that one day I would organize an event here in Tennessee to help the public get a glimpse of what we as horse and mule enthusiasts all over get to experience. Finally, this past October, a young boy’s dream came true as my wife and many friends came together to pull off the 1st Annual Cedar Creek Plow Day. We got to incorporate a lot of different activities using horses and mules at this event. I love new ideas in the direction of old ways and equipment from yesteryear.

My wife, Kaitlyn, along with our little girl, Magdalena, took charge in planning the events in the main tent. We had vendors doing demonstrations such as broom making, poultry butchering, caring for a family milk cow, cheesemaking, yogurt making, sourdough, cloth production in the 1800s, how to grow a medicinal garden, and natural remedies just to name a few. Albert Zook of Cypress Beekeeping Supplies in Ethridge, Tennessee also came on Friday and had honey and beekeeping supplies for sale. He also offered literature and insight into beekeeping.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
Zach Odom demonstrating a walking plow in drought-dry soil with his well-mannered mules.

We were blessed to have lots of dealers loan us equipment for the plow day. We had Whitehorse plows, a few Pioneer plows, plus some older models such as Chattanooga, Vulcan, Oliver, and John Deere. Pine Ridge Equipment located in Scottsville, Kentucky sent the Whitehorse plows. Raymond Shirk from Spencer, Tennessee sent down a Master Equipment manure spreader and a Whitehorse sulky plow with an extra Oliver bottom. A to Z Equipment in Ethridge, Tennessee sent a spreader from E.Z. Trail, an all-crop hay loader, a 4-foot cultimuncher, and a port-a-coop. The I&J dealer from Stantonville, Tennessee sent an I&J cultivator and a scratcher. There was also a pony wagon there from Stantonville, Tennessee. The Farmers Equipment dealer in McKenzie, Tennessee sent a cultivator/cultimuncher. All equipment that was provided by the dealers was for sale during the event, with discounts being provided on some equipment at the dealer’s discretion.

Parents and children flocked around the children’s area which included 2 wooden dairy cows to practice milking, a couple heifers, goats, and a pony; as well as a wooden bin filled with corn from local farmers, Tim and Craig Byrd of Byrd Farms. The corn bin was definitely a highlight for most of the children, including our daughter.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
Clyde Harlow making brooms.

Alfred Mast also brought his little team of mules and cart and offered rides to the children. I can’t remember a single time that his cart wasn’t full of delighted children. We also had a pony borrowed from James Wanner of Russell Creek, Tennessee to pull the pony wagon that was loaned from Stantonville. It provided necessary relief at times for Alfred’s team.

The teams are always my favorite part, of course. I brought my team of 16 year old Belgium mares, my 2.5 year old Belgium filly, and a 6 year old Haflinger mare. The Haflinger mare pulled the spreader a little and made lots of ice cream on the treadmill sent down by Athens Treadmill of Spencer, Tennessee.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
Jeremiah Blaine driving the forecart, hay wagon and loader. Henry Harlow is holding down the front rack while Gideon Harlow and a friend fork hay into place.

We appreciate Ammon Weaver letting us use and demonstrate the two-horse treadmill. When we first called and asked about demonstrating the treadmill, he said he only had one available at the moment but that it was sold. He called the owners and they said they would be glad to let us demonstrate it, and that they would pick it up from the event. A few days before the event our phone rang. It was my brother-in-law (Khoke Livingston) calling from Iowa. It was a pleasant surprise that the treadmill actually belonged to them. They originally weren’t going to make it to the plow day, but at this turn of events were able to come.

Gideon Harlow brought his team of mules, and we mowed hay before the plow day in order to have some ready to put up on the first day of the event. He used his No. 4 John Deere mower, and I used my No. 7 McCormick mower that was rebuilt recently. They both did well.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
Zach Odom demonstrating log skidding and loading with his mules.

Jeremiah Blaine and his family came and brought their three-horse team. He also brought along his I&J ground driven hay mower with an 8-foot bar.

Levi Alexander and his family were there with his team (Tennessee Walker/ Standardbred stud and a Gray Standardbred gelding). They pulled the wagon with the bale loader as well as the wagon with the hay loader. Levi Alexander also offered a horseshoeing demonstration.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
Jeff Ferge with Spud and Tater demonstrating log loading.

Gabrial Miller and his family came and brought a nice team of Haflinger fillies that he broke himself. He pulled logs, mowed hay, and raked hay with them.

Calvin Elder came with his family and brought a team of grays. They plowed and pulled John Deere 336 square baler with an I&J ground driven forecart.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
It was a great event. They had a wide range of demonstrations. The most interesting to Khoke was the block and tackle demo where they used a team of horses to pull a big log truck that had its brakes locked. The truck had not been moved in a couple years so they had to not only pull it backwards but they had to break it loose. – Ida Livingston

Zach Odom and his wife made it down and brought their nice team of black mules. He did some plowing and a log loading demonstration. His mules are well behaved.

Jeff Ferge brought his big stout Belgian geldings, Spud and Tater. He did the block and tackle demonstration and did log loading demonstrations on his log wagon.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
The “Corn Box” for kids.

Alfred Mast and his family were there most days with their team of mini mules, as stated before they pulled a wagon toting children all over. They also pulled a little plow and pulled on the block and tackle a little.

Carey Burnett and his family, from the Brush Creek Plow Day, brought his team of Brabant geldings and plowed some. We also enjoyed a night around the fire with them and some of the wonderful people who helped us put this event on singing gospel bluegrass music. James Abernathy came with his team of horses and plowed some with a walking plow.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
The crew that put the event together. Levi and Cassondra Alexander, Emery and Kaitlyn Edwards with Magdalena, Gideon Harlow, Henry and Graciann Harlow with Willow, Loyd Warf and Ellen Harlow.

One of the highlights for many was my John Deere 336 square baler hooked to Jeff Ferge’s I&J ground driven cart. We cut, raked, and baled hay all three days. On Thursday, I pulled it with my team of Belgians. On Friday, Calvin Elder pulled it with his team of big Percherons. Then he hooked them with another team and Calvin Elder and Gideon Harlow drove them. On Saturday, Jeremiah put his three horses in the cart and baler. All of the teams did great. We used my old pop-up square bale loader and picked up all the square bales with it attached to a wagon.

Another highlight was the all crop hay loader. My wife said that a couple older gentlemen in the tent said that they had only ever seen one in magazines and they didn’t think they would ever get to see one in real life!

Cedar Creek Plow Day
Cooking beans in cast iron over a pit.

The ice cream made with the treadmill was a huge favorite. In total we made 50 gallons of ice cream, and should have made more on Saturday!

Saturday was our biggest and busiest day. We had a great crowd each day, but Saturday was our largest. We had lots of demonstrations going on Saturday between the tent and all of the equipment. Two of our local volunteer fire departments sold food and drinks over the three days as a fundraiser for themselves. On Saturday we had an extra bonus of a cast iron cauldron full of soup beans cooked over an open fire and some of the best cornbread made by Cassondra Alexander.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
Treadmill horsepowered ice cream maker. Emery Edwards and Henry Harlow unloading a batch.

We had a baking contest and produce contest on Saturday as well. The three categories we chose for the baking contest were loaf bread, cornbread, and pies. We tried to pick useful prizes such as different stainless steel products for the baking contest, and gave kerosene lanterns as prizes for the produce contest.

To close the event on Saturday, a local musical family serenaded us with gospel bluegrass music. The feeling of community we felt during this event left us all with full hearts and much anticipation for the next year. We hope to improve the event every year to demonstrate more of the old time ways while leaving an impression on some youngsters to keep this way of life going in the future.

Cedar Creek Plow Day
Emery Edwards and his team of Belgiums in the block and tackle demo. They were using the loader forks to try to anchor the block and tackle to pull the truck backwards.

Organizing this event just the two of us was a big task but we want to make it clear that we couldn’t have done it in such a successful way if it wasn’t for all of the businesses in our community who sponsored our event, as well as all of our family and friends who selflessly gave of their time and resources to help us throw this event. Next year we are hoping to add some oxen, as well as some new demonstrations of different useful skills. The planning for the 2nd Annual Cedar Creek Plow Day is already well underway with the dates being October 10th, 11th, and 12th.

For more information email: CedarCreekPlowDay@gmail.com
or write:
Edwards Farm Supply Store
45 Lick Creek Rd.
Linden, TN 37096

Cedar Creek Plow Day
Khoke Livingston helping set up the block and tackle.
Cedar Creek Plow Day
Alfred Mast’s mini mules pulling the un-anchored loader with the block and tackle.
Cedar Creek Plow Day
Jeff Ferge’s big Belgium team, Spud and Tater, that pulled the truck backwards in the demo.