Friday, January 14, 2011

Horse Power

I have big garden plans this year. Big ones. Last year my city plot was 8x16' with a few potted citrus and figs on the side. I got a few things harvested. Nothing much really in the grand scale of feeding seven people but what I did get was nourishing and satisfying in a way that is hard to describe in words.

Now that we're on a fair bit of land, I want more. This years garden plot is a whopping fifty by one hundred and fifty feet. Yep, it's big.

The land has never had a garden or animals on it. Other than being cleared, we have vast amounts of virgin dirt. The only problems were the thick hay-grass-weeds that are on it and what type of dirt we're actually dealing with. You see, there are bare places of dirt but it is mostly sand. Not the greatest gardening medium.

To tackle the first issue I needed to get the land torn up, the grasses cut to managable pieces. Once I could get to the dirt, I could then assess it. I asked the neighbors and had the prospect of one being able to do it with a tractor for a reasonable fee but they had to get back to me. In the meantime I posted an ad on Craigslist asking for tilling or plowing my garden for a modest price. The goal of the garden is to inexpensively feed our family this coming year, not go broke doing it.

While I was waiting for the neighbor the stars aligned and I got an email from my Craigslist post from a guy named Blake. After the first few sentences my face was split with an uncontrollable grin and really hasn't left since.

Blake wanted to bring his team of Belgain horses over to till my garden.

Some of you may not understand the enormity of the above sentence. The rest of you are scrolling down for the photos and opening up a new page to search for Horse Powered Plowmen in your area.


The disc thing (apologies for my lack of plowman speak)

On the field.

While hiring the neighbor and his overpowered gasoline gobbling tractor might have been easier and quicker, there is just something about seeing these gorgeous giants doing what they were made to do. Something in my heart sings true to support those still keeping alive what our ancestor's utilized. We have tumbled the idea of having our own horse power at the farm but as of right now it's just not viable. It is sad to think that so few people will ever be able to experience the quiet sounds of horse driven farm work. The tinkling of chains. The breathy snorts on a cold winter day. The plowman's commands as they walk the fields.

Blake and his team did a fantastic job on our garden and will come back out in a couple weeks when the grass has died to run over it again. I can't wait to see them again.

Blake's Horse Power is located in Northern Florida near the GA border. You can Like their Facebook page Here.


  1. Hi! This is Cassandra from CAF on FB. All I can say is: Wow, they're incredible! What an adventuresome start for your garden.

  2. I am so drooling! this looks amazing will be keeping an eye on your blog!

  3. That is so! Cool! I'm so glad Blake found your ad!

  4. How wonderful! We are joining a local CSA this year that does all their work with Belgian draft horses. They're amazing animals!