Ken Kingdon drives a plow near Joffre. He was one of 10 teams plowing and seeding 15 acres of two-row barley over the weekend. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate Staff)

A love for horses: plowing and seeding the old-fashion way near Joffre

Having a muddy field Saturday morning would have delayed some seeding attempts out of fears the tractor may get stuck.

Thankfully, 24-2 Draft Horses partners Brett Fulford and Cam Anderson and Central Alberta organic farmers Lynn Cain and Mike Forsyth and landowners used horses over the weekend.

Over two days, they plowed and seeded 15 acres of two-row barley near Joffre, east of Red Deer.

“The group here are all the same,” said Fulford about the passion of using horses. “They just love driving horses. Saturday was a little soggy, but it turned out OK.

“Saturday I put eight of mine together on a triple gang plow.”

On Sunday, plowing still needed to be done and several men were using the single plow. It took longer, but the plows only used.

Ten teams of people and horses, a total of about 40 Percherons and Belgians, worked the Cain-Forsyth owned land. The teams came from around Central Alberta and from as far away as Valleyview, near Grande Prairie.

The hope is to sell the barley to the Old Prairie Sentinel Distillery in Lacombe. That’s part of the reason the group chose to plant barley.

“It can only get better,” said Fulford, while talking about using the classic method of plowing and seeding.

Fulford said after the plowing is done the soil is in large chunks and is hard. Then they had to harrow the soil down before the barley could be seeded.

“I always say this is a lot less stressful than doing what farmers do today,” said Fulford. “They have millions of dollars invested in the equipment. Where we, at the end of the day, it’s not a huge investment and we’re having fun doing it.”

The barley will also be sold to the Louis-Dreyfus grain elevators north of Nova Chemicals.

This is the fourth year 24-2 Draft Horses has put on the event. For more information on the company dedicated to the love of working with draft horses to produce locally grown goods visit www.facebook.com/242drafthorses.

mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

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