The hand-lettered sign down at the corner of the college road and hwy 70 said Plow Day 9-3. P and I walked through waist-high wildflowers down the hill and across the river under a crackling blue sky to the back of a field where we met up with M for a day of draft-horse-powered field work demos. I was excited to get to draw, but it was a challenge. Nothing stood still for long.
It was like a movie set for a 1920s film about family farms. Teams of draft horses-- stocky Suffolks with white forelocks drifting down their faces, black percherons that looked like medieval war horses, Belgium brabants, and even a team of sweet little mules-- pulled old-time plows and ride-on plows up and down the field.
At one point, which we unfortunately missed, teams competed in a logging race in which they pulled trees through a course simulating pulling big logs out of a woods.
Meanwhile teams rested up and teamsters stood around talking. We asked lots of questions. I was especially interested in the plows and how they worked.