Horsedrawn Ploughing and Soil Preparation
For a small garden, a good garden fork will do all of the digging and soil preparation you need, but you may find that once your vegetable garden goes beyond the 200 sq m, you look longingly at the other implements on the market. Using an animal powered implement is a good way to go for the self-sufficient farmer. A well-trained draught horse or small bullock team, even a donkey, will allow you to cultivate more ground than you could with a fork alone. We have also been investigating animal powered direct drill seeders. Ah well, maybe one day…
The key of course is having the animal and knowing how to train it. Enter centre left … Donny Hobbs. Donny is a Mudgee local personality who has always been fascinated by horses. He has his own patches of land which he and his horses prepare to grow anything he can think of. Oats, barley, wheat, millet … Actually the patches of land are council waste land, which Donny has rescued from rubbish and weeds. Have a look at www.mudgeehistory.com.au through “folk Tales” to the “Don Hobbs” story.
At the Sustainable Living Weekend, he works a small section of our land with his heavy horse Queenie and horse drawn implements. The implements he uses are a plough, a scarifier, and a harrow to prepare the seed bed. It's poetry in motion to watch. He also instructs participants on how to guide the plough while he controls the horse. Be prepared - it's hard work until you get the hang of it! If the weather is favourable, Donny, assisted by anyone interested, also sows a crop. You’ll know Donny when you see him. He is our Pied Piper. Wherever Donny goes, a bevy of children follows. It is a delight to see him pass his skills on to the younger generation.
Donny with the lead ropes, David from Peppercorn Creek Farm guiding the plough and of course Queenie. There are always people standing around fascinated by Donny, Queenie and the plough. The second photo is showing Wade on the plough with Donny guiding Queenie. In the last photo, we have two of the boys from Peppercorn Creek Farm, the older one helping the younger one guide the plough.