Rural Heritage Reading Room

Above: Rural Heritage April-May 2019 Cover: Chris Mosher competes with his Belgian team at the 2018 US Plowing Contest.
Vol 44, No 2
April - May 2019

Rural Heritage is a bimonthly
journal in support of farming
and logging with draft horses,
mules, and oxen. The April/May 2019 issue was mailed to subscribers on March 22, 2019. 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 talks about his Facebook usage and a couple of good groups to follow,  spring in the Midwest and his upcoming travels to Samson Harness Shop, Wooly Wagons and the Country Living Workshop at Lehmans for the magazine as well as Rural Heritage on RFD-TV.
J.C. Allen Archives
Vintage photos of rural life by renouned photographer JC Allen including photos of tapping maples in Indiana, blasting tree stumps, a boy with his pony and a bird feeder project.
From Stacy Lyn's Kitchen
Stacy Lyn Harris shares her recipe for cucumber salad. We can almost taste summer!
art of working horses
Gordon Myers with his pony.
Photo by JC Allen
Selections from our extensive catalog of books and videos
on draft animal farming, logging, self-sufficient living
and much more.
My Card & Classified Ads
(frequently updated online)

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



vetch cover crop
Overhead view of a homemade buckrake.
Revisiting the Buck Rake− − − click on title to read this story in full.

Ken Gies makes a buck rake with a side hitch from off-the-shelf materials.  He explains his choices, design and assembly and includes many detailed photos.  This is a great DIY horsedrawn implement.

Maintaining Soil Fertility

Market gardeners Anne and Eric Nordell explain their use of horse manure compost and rock minerals to improve soil fertility. They explain in detail how and why they do this, incorporating results from soil testing and addition of minerals.

eric nordell market garden
Eric Nordell spreading compost, soft rock phosphate, Azomite, high mag lime, Physiostart and peanut meal on his market garden field.
Live Power Business Plan

Horse powered farmer Stephen Leslie walks through the process of developing a business plan.  From capital and production costs to land cost, crop choice, budget, taxes, labor, insurance and more.  There are many resources listed to help you in developing your own plan.

used mccormick deering cultivator
You can start with good, used equipment instead of new in your live power business plan.
Cambray, New Mexico 1914

This ghost town was once a stop on Southern Pacific Railroad’s route west.  Water wells, copper mining, and the Butterfield mail route all flourished there when Jenifer Morrissey’s great-great-grandparents purchased land in 1914.  She has included some wonderful vintage photos to enhance the essay.

Tapping Trees

Jerry Hicks tells a wonderful story about tapping maples when he was 16 with the help of his Pappaw and Mammaw.  You can almost taste the syrup while you are reading.




Horse Roots
Horselogger Taylor Johnson tells us what he loves about horses, Fjords and Cobs in particular.  He links his preference in horses to his heritage – gypsy stock in the United Kingdom.  This is the first article in a series about traveling to the UK and the Gypsy Cob breed of horse.
Small Farm Dump Wagon
Follow along as Ralph Rice instructs us on building a small dump wagon.  He uses Kari Moulton’s design, with his own twist, to make this extremely useful horsedrawn wagon.
Draft Animal Instruction
The history of draft animal power (both horse and oxen) before WWII by family farmers as discussed by Tim Huppe consisted of farming, logging, competitions, shows, pulls.  Tim then tells about Sanborn Mills in New Hampshire where they focus on training teams and teamsters in the historical working farm setting. He gives us a overview of the particular work their teams do at the farm.
blue roan belgianmodified harness twins
Modified harness making it easier to attach.
One Horse Farmer

Leroy Keim is 71 years young and farms with a single horse.  Read how he modified its harness to make it easier for him to be able to put it on in pieces.  He also tells us of his stable management method to perfect the manure composting process on his farmland.

A Pony- Powered Vermont Farm

Jenifer Morrissey shares Richard Augeri’s love for ponies and their role on his Vermont farm.  He uses four grade ponies and one Shetland stallion to bring in hay, plow and log his woods.  Richard has adapted many horsepowered implements to fit these small draft animals.




horse logging at berea college
Chad and Frank Miano demonstrate how to buck logs to appropriate lengths. Photo by Ben Aguilar
Woodsman's Week

Restorative forestry was taught, practiced and demonstrated at the Biological Woodsmen’s Week at Berea College in Kentucky.  Teams of horses along with teamsters and timber cutters teamed up removing the “worst first” trees from the college’s acreage.

Guest Editorial: An Appeal Breed Associations to Preserve Draft Types
Klaus Karbaumer speaks to breed associations about maintaining and promoting the traditional draft horse conformation. Encouraging the associations to have guidelines about what the breed should be, independent of market demand.   Conformation, use of artificially enlarged hooves and forcing hitch horses to be up-headed are some of his issues.
legacy meats
Three week old Belgian twins thriving at home.
Adding a Value Added Enterprise

Katrina Julian discusses the need for diversification and new income streams to keep a family farm profitable.  Along with their dairy, horse logging, writing and photography, she and her family now sell their beef directly to consumers.  Read about the entire process from breeding to the grocery store shelf.

It's All About Donkeys!

Karen Kirsch reports on the sixth annual Donkey Welfare Symposium for both professionals and enthusiasts.  Some topics discussed were:  the state of donkeys in developing countries, hoof lesions, ophthalmology, tropical diseases, some history, racing mules, riding donkeys, wild donkey sanctuary and BLM management of wild donkeys.  So much was covered in three short days.



Ralph Rice introduces (or reintroduces) us to this old lumber industry tool and explains its many uses today, whether old or shiny new. He also tells us how he made his own tool in his shop, modifying an old axe head.

US Draft Horse and Mule Plowing Contest

A photo essay of the 14th annual US Horse and Mule Plowing Contest in Olympia, Kentucky.  Competition classes included walking plow, two horse sulky plow, three horse sulky plow, antique plow and novice class.

us plowing contest
Mike McCormick with his Percheron team won the Two Horse Sulky Class at the US Plowing Contest.

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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