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Archived posts for the ‘Draft Horses’ Category

A spring Farm Report

Cultivating onions at 47th Ave Farm's Grand Island Farm – photo by Matt GiraudJust the other day, I was out with my draft horses – Dixie and Daisy – cultivating garlic on our Grand Island farm. The sun was in and out, but dry enough that the horses easily stayed on top of the field as my 1920s-era cultivator churned the soil and weeds under my feet. We went back and forth, back and forth, the simple mechanics of the cultivator keeping time, slowly weaving a thread of broken earth into the land.

That simple, uneventful pleasure is definitely not something I’d have been able to enjoy this time last year. As you may remember with the same shiver I do, last winter featured snow that wouldn’t go away, rain (and mud) well into the spring, and a lot of brrrrrrrrrrr!

In fact, we couldn’t even get onto the fields until April last year, setting our planting and harvesting schedules back. Or more accurately, we couldn’t start working the fields responsibly: laying a heavy tractor on muddy fields compacts the soil, squeezing out the oxygen that micro-organisms need to feed the plant and that plants need for a healthy immune system. You can’t have healthy produce without healthy soil, so despite the delays it would cause, we knew we’d want to wait out the mud and do things right. I’m glad we did, but it sure made us long for typical Oregon winters!

Like this year, which by comparison, has been mild and relatively dry. Yes, we had a little snow a last month, and for sure, the low snow pack may come back to haunt Oregon agriculture later, but for now, it makes harvesting easier.

…And we’re already out there planting for summer: Sugar snap peas, fava beans, delicate spring greens like spinach and lettuce. The greenhouse is full of baby plants and the drier weather means we’ll be planting our red tropea onions, spring carrots and early potatoes ahead of schedule! We’re definitely glad to have less mud, and happier plants than we did last year.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished the garlic. The sun pops out and warms my smiling face – and I aim the horses and the cultivator down the edge of the next field. What will this beautiful corner of the planet offer up next?

Let’s find out!

My Beautiful Bonnie

By Laura

OMG the horses look like giant dorks in their new fly masks, but they are so much happier now!

Progress at Grand Island

By Laura

Borrowed a grain drill from our neighbors at Oakhill Organics to seed 15 acres of cover crop at Grand Island last week with Bonnie & Patty. My friend Neal McCool brought his mules to help too. What fun!

Cover Cropping with Bonnie & Patty

Draft Horse Farming Workshops this Fall

By Laura


If you’re interested in learning more about driving & farming with horses, consider attending these workshops this fall. You can download the flyers with more info by clicking on the workshop you’re interested in or check out Doc Hammill’s website.


Driving & Farming with Horses Workshop at Live Power Community Farm in Covelo CA, Oct 30th – Nov 2nd

Driving & Working Horses in Harness Workshop at Happ’s in Ethel WA, Oct 22nd – 24th

Plowing with Horses Workshop in Dorena, OR, Oct 16th – 18th

Driving & Farming with Horses Workshop at Live Power Farm

By Laura

Driving & Farming with Horses Workshop Flyer


Plowing with Horses Workshop in Dorena, Or

By Laura


Driving & Working Horses in Harness at Happ’s

By Laura

Happ's Workshop flyer

Draft Horse Plowing Workshop

By Laura

Interested in learning more about plowing with draft horses? Join us at Happ’s on Friday Feb 20th for an all day workshop. Click here for more info.