Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Plowing Ahead

It used to be that Easterners (anyone living east of the Mississippi) would come out to Oregon expecting cowboys wearing big hats and spurs to be riding their mounts down Broadway, hooting and hollering about "doggies" and shooting up the town. Things have progressed a bit since then and now those from "Back East" come expecting lattes and salmon tartare. And maybe a cowboy or two, if only in a museum display.

But there are still farmers who use teams of horses to break up the soil, and new devotées who believe the traditional method is a more sustainable model of agriculture, easier on the environment and better for the land. An opportunity to see some of the best teams in the region in action is coming the weekend of May 1st when the Oregon Draft Horse Breeders Association hosts its annual plowing competition at Champoeg Park.

With the plowing competition on Saturday and a demonstration of how horses disc, harrow and seed a field (and an opportunity to learn what those terms mean) on Sunday, it will be a teachable moment for the kids and great opportunity to see some magnificent animals up close and personal. The event is in cooperation with this year's Champoeg Founders' Day Celebration with the theme of "Farming Then and Now," featuring music, living history demonstrations and historic displays. (Download a pdf of the event flyer.)

This is one of those events you really need to attend at least once in your life, if only to get an idea of what amazing work it was to settle this place we call home. You'll be so glad you made the time to do it!

Details: Oregon Draft Horse Breeders Association Annual Plowing Competition. Sat.-Sun., May 1-2, 10 am-3 pm. Champoeg State Park, 8239 Champoeg Road NE, St. Paul. 503-678-1251.

Photos courtesy Clare Carver of Big Table Farm. That's her in the photo at bottom left. You go, girl!


Clare Carver said...

thank you SO much for posting - I'm soo excited for the big day!! see you there!! cheers! - Clare

Kathleen Bauer said...

And thank you for the heads-up! Can't wait to see you in action…