June 14, 2006

Plowing the back yard

Although we've done some very large things to my yard and gardens this year, there was still a large area in the back yard that was basically just lawn. After turning a smaller area in the front yard by hand, I wasn't exactly enthusiatic about doing that to a space five times as large. Josh had a friend, Eric Kincaid, with horses and an interest in plowing. Eric apparently plowed a much larger area in Brooktondale yesterday, and came by today to try plowing in my yard.

While it may have been a large area for turning by hand, it was a rather small area for plowing by horse. Still, I think in the end, it was pretty successful. The plow was from Syracuse Chilled Plow Company, though I don't know how old it was. Kincaid's horses were an Appaloosa (Strangely) and a mule (Errata), and his dog Tuffy was there to help - sort of - as well. The horses, which normally pull Kincaid's cart, seemed comfortable pulling the plow.

Setting up the plow
Setting up the plow.

Josh makes a first run
Josh makes a first run on the plow as Eric directs the horses.

Josh makes a first run
Chris makes a later run on the plow.

The area was too narrow for the horses to turn around comfortably, so instead of plowing the usual straight lines, they plowed circles, diagonals, and whatever seemed convenient. Since our purpose was primarily to break the sod to make it easy to do further digging and landscape change, it didn't have to be perfect. (Given the space, it couldn't be.)

It was definitely a pleasure working with Eric and his team, and I'd recommend it, though I think it probably makes a lot more sense if you have at least half an acre to an acre, with space for the horses to turn around. I'd say it was successful experiment, if unusual.

If you'd like to see more, including the horse cart, plow, and more of the horses, I've posted a gallery. Thanks also to the folks over at The Orchid Place for letting us park a horse cart in their lot, and hitch and unhitch horses there.

Posted by simon at June 14, 2006 6:09 PM in , ,
Note on photos


Dave said:

You know, I drove by yesterday (on the way home from lunch at the Plantation) and I thought I saw horses in your yard. Now I know I wasn't seeing things.

Ben said:

Dang sodbusters are gonna ruin this country!

Tom Smith said:

Photos were nice. There was plenty of room to turn the team around there from the looks of it. Animals were too far apart tho for maximum pulling . Hook a rope or light chain off the bottom of the collar will solve that. Hook the doubletree higher up on the front of the plow and as they pull it will bite into the soil with no problem. Leather straps might do good for pulling a light wagon ,but you need trace chains to plow with . they won't stretch like the leather will. I farmed with Mules in Tennessee most of my life