Garden Diary - September 2016

If you have any comments, observations, or questions about what you read here, remember you can always Contact Me

All content included on this site such as text, graphics and images is protected by U.S and international copyright law.
The compilation of all content on this site is the exclusive property of the site copyright holder.


Plowing Match at Howell Living History Farm
Saturday, 3 September 2016

Today's the day. Time for the 33rd Annual Howell Living History Farm Plowing Match. Teams of draft animals from New Jersey and Pennsylvania are entered in the match, which tests the performance of farmers, their horses and oxen, and their plows as they turn furrows. Judging takes place from 10:00 a.m. until noon, and there are trophies, ribbons and cash prizes for the wnners of the Fine Plowing Class.

Walk up from the visitors center to the farmyard. Then there's a tractor and two wagons to bring visitors up to the East Crop Fields.

There are teams of Percherons, Belgians, Brabants, and Suffolks.

Lorrie, Shiela, and Nika, three black Percherons. Well muscled

and legs lifting in unison.

These Percherons, from Historic Longstreet Farm, once dappled, now fading to white.

As are Ted and Bud. Dan Ruth shampoos them . . . .

I always admire Pat Hlubik's trio of Brabants: Ike, Jethro, and Jeb.

They'll take a break, now that their land is plowed. Good job.
The furrows are even and straight. So are the ends. And

all the trash and debris was covered. Not like here where the turf is exposed.

Perhaps better suited for plowing a home garden, a charming pair of . . . .
I need to find out if these are miniature horses or ponies.

Rob Flory is plowing with Jim and John, Howell's team of Milking Shorthorn oxen. I overheard him discussing different breeds with someone. He liked Devons, good workers but only up until 12 years or so. After that they slowed down. But Devon Holstein cross, now there was a good combination.

And more! Pete and Paul, a handsome pair of mules.

I sometimes think that plowing takes more effort
from the teamster than the team . . . .

It's noon. The plowing match is over. The various judges will compare their notes on the plowing, condition of each team, its harness and equipment, the teamster's control of the team to determine 1st place trophy winner, ribbons and premiums.

The teams walk down to the Round Pasture for a rest break.
Dan Ruth's grandchildren ride down on Ted and Bud.

The festivities include bluegrass music by the Jugtown Mountain String Band,
the sweet strains floating up to the East Crop Fields as the teams are plowing.

Hungry plowmen, plowwoman, and visitors, can lunch on roast pork sandwiches, a chicken BBQ, Kosher franks and Howell Farm potatoes and sweet corn. And there's some excellent ice cream for dessert.

Tom and Jeb, Howell's team bring all the plows down from the field

and then return back up to the farmyard and their barn.

"Horse power" has a special meaning here at Howell Farm.

Back to Top

Back to September 2016

Back to the main Diary Page