Sunday, April 15, 2012
Speed the Plow
Blue skies and a wide green field beckoned hundreds of visitors yesterday to watch teams of gorgeous draft horses turning over perfect rows of black earth for the 46th Annual Farm Fest in McMinnville.
There were Percherons, Clydesdales, Belgians and Shires, along with lesser-known breeds like Halflingers and Fjords, as well as a team or two of mules. They were harnessed to comparatively delicate-looking plows steered by men and women who walked in the furrows they dug, directing their teams with whistles, calls and an occasional pull on the lines.
The sweat dripping off both horses and handlers showed how hard this work was, despite their methodical speed and the undulating waves of turned earth left in their wake. Each team was competing to plow a 50 by 150 foot section, which would take about three hours, with prizes awarded based on the straightness of the furrows and the performance of the team.
There won't be another chance to see these magnificent beasts (equine or human) demonstrating their skills until next year, but mark your calendar for early next April…you can even combine it with wine tasting or a picnic and make it the perfect day trip!
Photo at top of Clare Carver of Big Table Farm driving Huston and Hummer, her team of Halflingers, in this year's competition.