From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Plowing with a Team

Life in Christian County, Kentucky...



A few miles south of Highway 68/80 in eastern Christian County

Not far from this beautiful green field, I saw a Mennonite farmer plowing with a team of six mules today. He had a seat on the plow so he could ride. It looked like it was a two-bottom plow; that is, it had two plow blades and it made two furrows.

When I saw him, he had gone down the field and back a couple of times, and there was still a vast expanse of ground waiting to be plowed. I thought what a time-consuming task it must be to get the fields plowed that way.

I would have loved to take his picture, but I didn't want to be rude.

Several years ago, the local newspaper had a story about some of the Mennonite families who had settled in this area. One man said that when he came here to look for a farm, he thought to himself that this was nice country to farm with a team of horses.

Many of the Mennonites around us use tractors, but some of the Old Order Mennonites (like the farmer I saw) use teams of horses or mules for farming. The Old Order Amish also use horses and mules. They don't object to stationary motors, though, and it's a very curious thing to see them in the hayfield with a baling machine that's powered by a stationary motor.

Since the Mennonite and Amish neighbors seem to be my theme of the day (again), I'll add this photo of another newly built set of farm buildings. The black barn was there when they bought the farm; it's a tobacco barn. I am guessing that they will use the windmill to irrigate vegetable crops. I know these folks will be glad when their trees grow and they have some shade.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.