McMinnville has a local heritage museum that hosts a variety of farm-related activities throughout the year. Yesterday was the annual plowing match. There were to be a total of about 20 teams plowing with horse and hand plow throughout the day, but we were only able to stay for a couple of hours first thing in the morning. Storms had just rolled through so the ground was wet and the sky was wild and the light was fantastic. I went crazy with my camera and I think I managed to catch the mood of the day.
Each person would plow in one direction and then turn their team and plow in the opposite direction. Each plowed row is judged on how straight it is, how even the "curl" of plowed soil is turned and how even the depth of the curl is. I thought plowing was a piece of cake...not so!
See how "bumpy" his turned rows are? The curl should like nice and flat and even.
Some used horses and some used mules for their team. I wish i could see oxen pulling a plow, that must be a sight.
This is not a gender specific "sport". I felt for this woman who was having a really difficult time getting her mules to obey her. Ultimately she did and managed to plow a couple of decent rows.
Here's another lady who must have some more experience, her rows were quite straight and even.
There were also farriers, blacksmiths, and lace makers providing demonstrations of their "lost" arts.
These women were working on beautiful and delicate lace creations. Tatting is an amazing art, look at all those spindles of thread that have to be intricately twisted to form the patterns of their creations. How in the world do you keep them all straight!
She is making a doily, you can see the pattern she is working on.
Another accomplished woman--her rows are not quite so straight, but those are BIG horses to be handling!
Look how deep his rows are, it's up to his knees. It's a real art to guide the horse as it plows the row he's working on while straddling the row just plowed.
I love these huge horses, so majestic and graceful for their imposing size.
This is one of my favorite pictures. He's using "old technology" for plowing while using "new technology" for communication. Old world meets new world!
I love the light in this photo and this gentlemen was hands down the most accomplished plowman. Look at how straight his rows are and how even the curl is compared to the other bumpy and uneven rows. He's obviously done this for a large part of his life!
The little one room schoolhouse was open and two giggly young ladies dressed in period garb where holding down the fort. This young lady decided to demonstrate old fashioned discipline!
I don't know who ultimately won the competition and observers were able to pick their own winners as well who would received the "People's Choice" award. Guess I'll find out in Tuesday's paper! It was a lovely morning for a step back in the past...especially for a farm girl at heart.