Little Help Please


June 16, 2017

In the photo, two friends enjoy a drink after work. If you look close, you’ll see a little helper. If you look even closer, you’ll see a tiny hand about to pet the face of our draft horse. It doesn’t get much better than that.

We here on the farm are extremely busy with mowing and hoeing, to name two jobs. This week, with the help of family and friends, we made 90% of our first cutting hay. The horse barn is full to the brim with some of the nicest hay that we have ever made. The day was very hot and muggy. Water and sweat flowed freely. When the last rays of sunlight were fading, I was backing the baler into the barn, tired, happy and very thankful.


The horses and I sweated together as we fluffed the hay for drying with our tedder. The best thing about that day was the cool stiff breeze. It was a nice quiet time, listening to the machine as it softly flipped the drying gasses into the air. The harness bells and birdsong complemented the light chatter of the machine’s metal parts. The sweet smell of the curing hay filled my nostrils, as the big animals easily pulled me around the field. Their power and grace never ceases to amaze me.

Hay making on a small farm takes many hands. I am grateful for all of you who helped. The main day was Tuesday, but a lot of work was done in the days leading up to then and even the days that followed. Two small fields remain. Those fields will be rolled into round bales for the cows winter feeding. I will still need the sun, some dry weather and help from the horses, but the hands on portion of small bales for this year, is now over! I could not have done it without all the help. Thank You!

August 25, 2016, 2:28 pm
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August 25, 2016

This picture is of Abby’s new harness bells. They are an unnecessary part of the harness, but they please me. I enjoy the simple chiming as the horses walk. Using horses makes a person slow down. They are animals, living, breathing creatures just like us. They must stop to rest now and then, but it is remarkable how much work they can accomplish.

As we work, I get to listen to the birds sing. I can even hear the plow slicing through the soil as we turn the sod. I hear the horses breathe and monitor that breathing for signs of when a rest is needed. The sounds of birdsong, slicing earth and breathing horses is enhanced by the ringing of my harness bells…or at least I think so.

I choose to use brass bells, cast in a foundry and made to ring pure and crisp. The sound is like no other. It cuts through the air in a subtle yet pronounced way. I use different sized bells to make the music sound like a melody. I can’t sing along, but it sure makes me smile. The horses pay them no mind. The bells are just part of their harness to them. I even asked them one time if they mind the sound? They just said … “neigh”.


It’s The Simple Things

spring 2016

March 25, 2016

In life, it is the simple things that matter. We all get too busy, caught up in the world and all the drama that goes with it. We need to slow down, take a minute to rest our brains, and let our hearts and souls talk to us. This is where true peace comes from. The kind of peace that restores us.

Last night we got a good amount of rain. The grasses and this field of spelt greened up over night. They know that spring is here. I was a little miffed because I had a different plan, but looking around the farm, I can see that the rain was needed. It is also forcing me to change gears, slow down and enjoy a rainy day….and I am doing just that!

Once I settled into the fact that my plans changed, I am making strides in a different direction. I am making progress in a couple of areas that were very needed and all because I had to slow down to think about them. I am sure that I will be better off and enabled to make even more progress once the rain stops, all because I slowed down.

Yesterday, I got to spend a little time with family. I worked on an old firewood tree and completed a list of errands. As I walked among the trees listening to the spring birdsong, I was refreshed almost by accident. Who would think that singing birds and the feeling that comes from completing a job, could make a man feel so good?

The documentary that we filmed here the last few days will air on RFD TV in May. It is two episodes shown on four different dates. It is my hope that folks will watch my horses work and understand why I choose to farm in this manner. I do tell our farm’s story, but the show belongs to the horses. They are the stars.

It is the simple things like harness bells and birdsong that keeps me going…not to mention a good morning kiss or an I love you spoken from a grandchild. The flame of a fire in the dark or the taste of a home canned peach on my tongue fills me with emotion and restores my soul.