Rural Heritage Reading Room

Above: Rural Heritage December 2018-January 2019 Cover: Scott Thies plows with a team of Percherons ahead of Larry Klehr working a team of a Belgian and Percheron at the 2018 NMDHA Field Day.

Rural Heritage is a bimonthly
journal in support of farming
and logging with draft horses,
mules, and oxen. The December 2018/January 2018 issue was mailed to subscribers on November 27, 2018. Below is this issue’s annotated Table of Contents, with a link to a full feature article to showcase the good reading delivered to your door every other month when you
Subscribe to
Rural Heritage.

If, in your reading, you run across
a drafty word you don't recognize,
consult our online Draft Dictionary.

Table of Contents
Publisher's Post

Joe’s involvement in a community in Haiti leads him to fundraising for a chicken brooder center to be built by Haitians to help farmers in the countryside develop their own flocks.

Lynn Miller's
Art of Working Horses
Selections from our extensive catalog of books and videos
on draft animal farming, logging, self-sufficient living
and much more.
Associations and Breeders Directory

(contacts for breed registries and regional draft clubs)

My Card & Classified Ads
(frequently updated online)

(please tell ‘em you saw it in Rural Heritage)

frost and wood horse drawn mower
Donn Hewes and Jay Bailey measure the lead on a Frost and Wood mower.
Mower Rendezvous

DAPNET and Essex Farm held a workshop to rebuild horse-drawn mowers as well as learn about repair and maintenance.  With much expertise in the building they disassembled, replaced, adjusted, refit, cleaned, and reassembled mowers (McCormick #7 & #9 as well as a Frost and Wood from Canada.  The participants learned much while enjoying the camaraderie that occurs when bringing draft animal people together!

Kiwi Clydes

Meryl Friets headed to New Zealand after college to spend two months at Erewhon Station, a working cattle, sheep and deer farm situated at the top of Rangitata Gorge.  She shares her amazing experiences working with Clydesdales at the farm who are descendants of the original horses brought from Scotland in 1911.  The horses are used for much work on the farm.  Read about how they are raised, trained and worked.  Stunning photographs enhance our understanding of the farm.

Clydesdales in new zealand
A common six-horse, three and three hitch at Erewhon Station, New Zealand


Getting Started with a Team

Expert draft horse farmer, Stephen Leslie, in a Q&A format, teaches us about starting a draft horse team trained for work.  From choosing a breed, age, size, matching for a team, shoeing, feeding, logging, he covers a lot of topics.  He also presents a “starter kit” of equipment he recommends for a draft powered market farmer.

barn restoration
The barn at Jack Creek Ranch before restoration began.
Green Forests Work!

Karen Kirsch takes us on a tour of reclaimed surface mining land in Kentucky. The property we visit is being restored by the Great Forests Work organization.  After giving us a short primer on cool mining history, Karen explains why these lands have been difficult to reforest and how the organization is succeeding in bringing them back.

Old Barn - New Life

Jenifer Morrissey reports on the restoration of the log based, gambrel roof barn at Jack Creek Ranch in North Park Colorado.  This is the first installment and describes in detail the installation of a new foundation and concrete floor.  Great photos take –step process.


Water Quantity and Quality

Ralph Rice discusses water sources for your farm operation and livestock feeding as well as gardens irrigation.  He discusses the benefits of farm Pond cisterns, tanks or barrels.  He then discusses the importance of water quality both on your farm and in the run off from your farm. The way he takes care of both of these issues is my composting manure  the methods of which he shares with us.

Creature Comfort

Ralph Rice shares how he provides the essentials for his livestock: shelter from wind, shade from sun and fresh feed and water.  He does this in many ways and the animals choose the ones they prefer.  Barns are one way but animals tend to prefer to be out of doors using trees and sheds for shade, fencerows, logs etc.  for windbreaks.  Ralph tells us how he provides all of these options and more.

equine chiropractic manipulation
Briley Aiden leads Miss Rosie B - American Suffolk
Horse Logging Business

Animal Powered logger Brad Johnson gives us a list of things to consider when starting such a business.  These include things from time management minimum output, efficiency vs. speed, consideration of yours and your horses limits, market analysis, listen to elder horse loggers and a lot more excellent advice.


Coverage of the first North American Suffolk Spectacular includes many great pictures of the beautiful animals.

Mule Plowing Contest− − − click on title to read this story in full.

The Middle Tennessee Mule Skinners club set a world record on September 29, 2018 and we were there to record it.   This record was for 95 mules plowing simultaneously for at least one minute.  There are some great pictures of the action here!

20 mule team hitch
Guinness World Record Mule Plowing.
Rural Bookshelf

Joe reviews the new offerings we have which include many Story Country Wisdom pamphlets, as well as some beautifully illustrated new children’s’ books.

Desert Southwest

Jenifer Morrissey takes us along on another of her great-great grandparents’  journeys, this one to Southern California, New Mexico and Arizona in 1913.  Histories of agriculture, particularly early Arizona and the California Imperial valley are described enhanced by snippets from their diaries.

20 mule team hitch
20-mule team harvest operation, Imperial Valley 1902.
Northern Minnesota Draft Horse Association Field Day

A pictorial of this annual event full of Percherons, Shires, Belgians and more fills the pages.

nmdha draft horse field day
Barb Schloemmer drives a three-abreast of Percherons put to an International 2-way plow.

The Reading Room is updated with each new issue. If you wish to be notified by email when new contents are posted, please Contact Us. If you wish to receive Rural Heritage in your mailbox every other month, please Subscribe.


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    This file last modified: December 04 2018.

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