Array

Horses plowing fields are a different sight

Brett Fulford has found that plowing a field with draft horses will generate a few double takes.

Brett Fulford has found that plowing a field with draft horses will generate a few double takes.

One man even pulled over to take a closer look to make sure he wasn’t dreaming, said Fulford, who has been plowing and disking a three-acre plot in Lacombe County about eight km west of Nova Chemicals.

“It’s something different,” said the Haynes area resident who was happy to find local organic farmers Michael Forsyth and Lynn Cain who allowed him to practise some old-fashioned farming techniques.

Fulford started plowing the plot with three of his horses before the May long weekend. Together with a friend it took about 20 hours over four days to finish plowing.

“I plow about 14 inches at a time. If you use a modern-day cultivator, it’s anywhere from 30 to 60 feet. They can do one trip and I have to do 30 or 40 trips. But I can tell you, they’re more stressed then I am,” he said with a laugh.

Then he disked the soil three times to kill more weeds. He will disk it one more time before he seeds the soil Sunday afternoon to grow oats using equipment that requires four horses.

“We’ve worked it quite a bit. I’m still dealing with a little bit of quack grass. But we’re going to hit it hard this week and hope for the best.”

He said his Percheron draft horses actually enjoy the work.

“If you could see them being harnessed, when I put the collars on, they put their heads down and push against me to put their collars and their harness on. It’s phenomenal.

“They’re bred to do it. This is what they do. This is what they love.”

For every 10 minutes on the field he gives the horses a two-minute break so they aren’t overworked.

Finding older farming equipment in good condition is the hard part, he said.

“Nowadays the metal prices are so high that everybody is scrapping these pieces of equipment. You go to an auction sale and you’re competing against the people who are recycling it.”

Recently Fulford was lucky enough to find a thrasher for free to harvest the oats. A man from Caroline offered him the thrasher who just wanted to make sure it didn’t end up used for scrap.

Fulford has been involved in his farm hobby for about three years with Alberta Carriage Supply, a company that participates in driving events using horse-drawn farm implements, wagons and sleighs, and also camps in the Rocky Mountains with teams and wagons.

Recently Fulford was involved in farm activities at the National Historic Site Bar U Ranch near Longview. Last weekend, he put in 12 acres of spring rye south of Calgary for a Calgary brewery that produces organic beer.

Fulford will also continue to work more land on the Lacombe County property.

“We’re going to try and keep another section plowed all summer so that we can control the weeds and then do a rotational crop so we can do specialty organic crops.”

About three teams of horses will be at the seeding Lacombe County farm on Sunday afternoon. Anyone interested in seeing them in action can visit around 2 p.m.

To find the farm go east on Hwy 11 from Red Deer, turn left on Freedom Road, turn left on Township Road 38-4, turn right on Range Road 26-2 and drive about a 1.5 km. The farm is on the east side of the road past two grain bins.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Manslaughter charge laid against Red Deer man more than a year after homicide

A manslaughter charge has been laid against a Red Deer man, more… Continue reading

Woman facing charges after pedestrian critically injured in hit and run

A woman is in custody in connection with an alleged hit and… Continue reading

Friday hail storm came at a bad time for farmers

Amount of damage a hail storm does often depends on how far along crops are

Record 10 homers as AL wins All-Star Game 8-6 in 10 innings

American League 8 National League 6 (1o innings) WASHINGTON — A record… Continue reading

Photos: Red Deer barn dance entertains children, adults Tuesday

Hundreds of Central Albertans started their Westerner Days celebrations early with an… Continue reading

Man suffers critical injuries, Red Deer police arrest woman in pedestrian crash

A man is in hospital with critical injuries and Mounties have arrested… Continue reading

Cull hasn’t been able to solve bunny burden in Alberta mountain town of Canmore

CANMORE, Alta. — Problems persist in an Alberta mountain town overrun with… Continue reading

Canada should help Holocaust denier on trial in Germany: civil liberties group

OTTAWA — A civil liberties group is urging the Canadian government to… Continue reading

Westerner Days: Send us your photos

Your reader photo may just make the pages of the Adovcate.

Adam Henrique signs $29.1M, 5-year extension with Ducks

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Centre Adam Henrique has signed a $29.1 million, five-year… Continue reading

Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends

NEW YORK — Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month