Horse teams will pull century-old plows and use vintage seeding equipment on 15 acres east of Red Deer this weekend.
The old-time farming demonstration will take place on Saturday and Sunday at the fourth-annual Invitational Plowing and Seeding event near Joffre.
“Everyone’s welcome to come view the activity and see how farming was done by their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents,” said Cam Anderson, one of the organizers and event participants.
Ten teams of people and horses — about 40 Percherons and Belgians — will be turning up land with plows dating back to the 1880s. These teams will then be disc-ing, harrowing and finally seeding with two circa-1940s four-horse seed drills.
Anderson said the horses “will be pulling 10 different pieces… at any given time.”
The 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. event is a partnership between the 24-2 Horses operation owned by Brett Fulford and Anderson and local organic farmers and landowners Lynn Cain and Mike Forsyth.
The barley being planted on the Cain-Forsyth land will hopefully grow to maturation, then be sold to two local operations — the Old Prairie Sentinel Distillery in Lacombe and the Louis-Dreyfus grain elevators north of Nova Chemicals.
Anderson said the two businesses were approached with the offer of buying the barley because they operate in the area, “and we like that they’re run by local people.”
Rob Gugin, head distiller at Old Prairie Sentinel Distillery, which produces gins and vodkas in Lacombe, said the idea of purchasing barley sowed the old-fashioned way goes along with his business philosophy. “It speaks to why we started” — to do things on a local level, he added.
“And how cool that they’re doing everything with old equipment!”
The company is one of two in the area to produce local spirits. The other is Stone Heart Distillery of Innisfail.
For more details about the plowing/seeding event, including directions to the farm, please visit www.facebook.com/242drafthorses.