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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT

Happs Plowing A Chance to Share
Happs Plowing A Chance to Share

Teri Sardinia of Winlock, WA (Best Lady Plowman) moves her 9-horse hitch down the furrow as her husband, Mike, and friend, Art Sporseen (owner of the 3 leaders), walk alongside. (Photo by Kelly Mahoney)

Happ’s Plowing: A Chance to Share

by Maureen Harkcom of Ethel, WA

Thirty-nine horses plowing in one field is quite a sight! Compound that with the fact that there were 8 breeds represented in 2, 3, 4 and 9-horse hitches, pulling single-bottom up to 3-bottom plows of walking and riding types from various manufacturers, driven by males and females ranging in age from 16 to 80+.

Spectators (estimated at 300 by the organizers and up to 400 by others) had a great time as they watched for the first time or relived old memories of their days behind a plow. Many actually got their hands onto plow handles for a chance to relive history. One gentleman (whose name unfortunately was forgotten) saw publicity announcing the Plowing Competition just a few days after having seen pictures of his grandfather plowing with teams of horses. He decided to come and see first-hand what his grandfather had done and maybe get a feel for what his grandfather’s life might have been like. Talking to competitors, following them up and down furrows, and finally getting to try it for himself, he spent hours in the beautiful western Washington sunshine learning and making new friends. Smiles on the faces of so many told the story of the kind of day it was. One spectator sought me out to thank us for providing such a wholesome, family-type event (I know at least one family came with 3 generations together) and to express his pleasure in attending an event of those numbers with a very obvious lack of law enforcement – and with no need for its presence.

Happs Plowing A Chance to Share

Pat, Tom and Violet (Suffolk gelding, Belgian gelding and Shire mare) on their way to earning the title of Best Going Team with Gean Courtney riding back there behind them someplace. (Photo by Kelly Mahoney)

Experienced plowmen mentored beginners or others with less experience. I even got to take time out to try my hand at a walking plow behind a fast-walking pair (as my torn rotator cuff can attest to, thanks to the only rock anyone saw all day — thank you Gean Courtney) and then on a riding plow behind four Shire mares who obviously knew more than I did about what they were doing (thank you John Erskine).

Happs Plowing A Chance to Share

Organizer Maureen Harkcom (under the watchful eye, and hand, of John Erskine of Monroe, WA) gets a chance to try plowing behind John’s wonderful Shire mares Sydnie, Sam, Icky and Libby (Photo by Triana Elan)

Three o’clock “off the field” time came and went and dinnertime rolled around before we could get people and horses off the field so that results of judging could be announced. I learned a lot that day, one thing being that people were there to share; not many took the competition side of the competition very seriously. Don Anderson of Toledo, WA was our judge — with a tough job handed to him. Everyone was helping each other so he had to really stay on his toes to know who had done what on the various plots. Don brought years of experience and hours of time with lines in his hands to the event and his knowledge of horses and equipment coupled with his watchful eyes saw all he needed to make his decisions.

Happs Plowing A Chance to Share

Clarence Stancil of Tenino, WA drives Jerry and Bird, his pair of Percherons, as Larry Livingston tries his hand at plowing. (Photo by Triana Elan)

When the ribbons were finally presented at dinner (because we couldn’t get competitors off the field at 3 as planned) the following were recognized: Best Looking Lady Plowman, Cathi Greatorex of Longview, WA; Best Looking Male Plowman, Wayne Buckner of Duvall, WA; Youngest Plowhorse, “Eastes” a 2 year old Norwegian Fjord gelding owned by Woody Hoopes of Monroe, WA; Oldest Plowhorse, “Duchess” a 17 year old Suffolk mare owned by Cathi Greatorex; Longest Hauled Horses “Jake” and “Tony” a pair of 8 year old Percheron geldings who made the ferry ride off the island with owner Buzz Larson of Freeland, WA; Best Junior Plowman, Nita Sporseen of Tenino, WA; Best Lady Plowman, Teri Sardinia of Winlock, WA (driving 9 head); Best Open Plowman, Gean Courtney of Oregon City, OR; Best Senior Plowman, Clarence Stancil of Tenino, WA; Best Crown, Clarence Stancil; Best Finish, Clarence Stancil; Best Going Team, Gean Courtney.

Happs Plowing A Chance to Share

Clarence Stancil took honors at Happ’s Plowing, here he lets someone try the handles. (Photo by Wendi Ross)

Spotlight On: Book Reviews

Livestock Guardians

Introducing Your Guard Dog To New Livestock And Other Dogs

When you introduce new animals to an established herd or flock, you should observe your dog’s reactions and behavior for a few days. Since he will be curious anyway, it is a good idea to introduce him to the new animals while he is leashed or to place the new animals in a nearby area.

Build Your Own Earth Oven

An Introduction To Cob

Mixed with sand, water, and straw, a clayey-subsoil will dry into a very hard and durable material; indeed, it was the first, natural “concrete”. In the Americas, we call it “adobe”, which is originally from the Arabic “al-toba”, meaning “the brick.” Invading Moors brought the word to Spain from North Africa, where an ancient mud building tradition continues today.

Woodstove Cookery at Home on the Range

An Illustrated Guide To The Wood Fired Cookstove

Illustrated guide to the wood stove and it’s accoutrements.

Chicken Guano: Top-Notch Fertilizer

Whoever thought I’d be singing the praises of chicken poop? I am, and I’m not the only one. Chickens are walking nitrogen-rich manure bins.

A Quiet Stand

A Quiet Stand

Burnout is common to idealists who invest deeply in their dreams. It is easy to overreach, and promise more than you have to give. Then too there is that tempered hidden anchor called hope, the mountain climber’s friend driven into cracks to belay and secure him as he goes, which still may fail first or last. So following the story that underlies these essays it is not hard to see how, as Kingsnorth says, finding himself increasingly mired in endless meetings with corporate spokesmen paid to resist him, enough futile effort might lead to despair.

How To Dry Up A Doe Goat

How To Dry Up A Doe Goat

You are probably thinking why would I want to dry up a doe? If the plan is to rebreed the doe, then she will need time to rebuild her stamina. Milk production takes energy. Kid production takes energy, too. If the plan is to have a fresh goat in March, then toward the end of October start to dry her up. The first thing to do is cut back on her grain. Grain fuels milk production.

A Short History of the Horse-Drawn Mower

A Short History of the Horse-Drawn Mower

Book Excerpt: The enclosed gear, late model John Deere, Case, Oliver, David Bradley, and McCormick Deering International mowers I (we) are so fond of had a zenith of popular manufacture and use that lasted just short of 25 years. Millions of farmers with millions of mowers, built to have a serviceable life of 100 plus years, all pushed into the fence rows. I say, it was far too short of a period.

Dont Eat the Seed Corn

Don’t Eat the Seed Corn: Strategies & Prospects for Human Survival

by:
from issue:

Gary Paul Nabhan’s book “WHERE OUR FOOD COMES FROM: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine” (Island Press, 2009) is a weighty tome, freighted with implications. But as befits its subject it is also portable and travels well, a deft exploration of two trips around the world, that of the author following in the footsteps of a long-gone mentor he never met, the Russian pioneer botanist and geneticist Nikolay Vavilov (1887-1943).

Basic Blacksmithing Techniques

Illustrated guide to basic blacksmithing techniques, an excerpt from Blacksmithing: Basics For The Homestead.

McCormick Deering/International No 7 vs no 9

McCormick Deering/International: No. 7 versus No. 9

McCormick Deering/International’s first enclosed gear model was the No. 7, an extremely successful and highly popular mower of excellent design.

Training Workhorses Training Teamsters First Time Hitching

First Time Hitching

More from Lynn R. Miller’s highly anticipated Second Edition of “Training Workhorses / Training Teamsters.” Today’s excerpt, “First Time Hitching,” is from Chapter 12, “Follow Through to Finish.”

Aboard the Planetary Spaceship

Aboard the Planetary Spaceship

SFJ Spring 2016 Preview: Edward O. Wilson’s new book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, offers a plan for the problem of species extinction: the dominant species, man, must hold itself back, must relinquish half the earth’s surface to those endangered. It is a challenging and on the face of it improbable thought, expressed in a terse style. But his phrases are packed because the hour is late.

Plowing with the Single Horse

Plowing with the Single Horse

All other aspects being equal, the primary difference in plowing, comfortably, with a single horse is that the animal walks on unplowed ground immediately adjacent to the previous furrow, rather than in the furrow. This will cause the point of draft at the shoulder to be somewhat higher and will dictate hitching longer and/or higher than with the animal walking down 5 to 8 inches lower in the furrow.

An Introduction To Grasslands Farming

From Dusty Shelves: A World War II era article on grassland farming.

Starting Your Farm

Starting Your Farm: Chapter 5

You might think that your new farm is fenced all wrong, or that a certain tree is in the wrong place, or that a wet area would be better drained, or that this gully would make a good pond site, or that a depression in the road should be filled, or that the old sheds should all come down right away. Well maybe you’re right on all counts. But maybe, you’re wrong.

McCormick-Deering No 7 Mower Manual in English & French

McCormick-Deering No. 7 Mower Manual in English & French

Instructions for Setting Up and Operating the McCORMICK-DEERING No. 7 VERTICAL LIFT TWO-HORSE MOWERS — Instructions pour le Montage et le Fonctionnement des FAUCHEUSES A DEUX CHEVAUX McCORMICK-DEERING No. 7 À RELEVAGE VERTICAL

Haying With Horses

Hitching Horses To A Mower

When hitching to the mower, first make sure it’s on level ground and out of gear. The cutter bar should be fastened up in the vertical or carrier position. This is for safety of all people in attendance during hitching.

Swallow

Rotation As A Means Of Blight Control

Every farmer knows that when a crop is grown on the same field year after year, it becomes inferior in quality and the yield steadily diminishes.

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT