No, not the armed forces.
The Draft, as in- the farm powerhouse- the living breathing tractor implement. And- another of our future big projects. After a year of the hand plow, the term 'breaking ground' has new meaning, and I'm not interested in repeating that feat again. We've been beginning the planning for next year and discussing the tractor vs. a draft animal. Our intention has always been to use drafts but every decision on farm has to be examined and evaluated. But we just keep coming back to drafts as a better choice for us. I have mentioned many, many times my distaste for mechanics, and I've been around enough tractors to know that mechanics are a necessity.
Livestock, I get.We both are comfortable with animals, and feel pretty strongly that the best investment of a draft animal will be wiser than realistically having to pay someone to fix what goes wrong on a tractor. Plus, I love the companionship and the working relationship between a farmer and their draft. We haven't decided what will work best for our farm, ox, mule, donkey, horse...
It may seem like a throw-back to the past to go the draft route, but with the price of fuel and our wariness of borrowing huge sums of money, it seems like a better trot forward. Terrible pun intended. Plus, many of the folks who work drafts report less soil damage from big machines.
But we can't just run out and buy a halter and a halflinger and call it a day. We have no experience working drafts, so we need to start now learning and gathering the necessary materials for next planting season. So we are going to try and go to some of the Hudson Valley Draft Association meetings, get to know the experts. We are also attending a day workshop in October on owning a horse for farm purposes. We're very excited to start on this venture, and hopefully will be posting updates as we move forward.