A tough old Swede

A tough old Swede
The animals are hunkering down on Mr Ed’s Farm tonight. The northwest wind is downright brutal. The horses, normally unaffected by the weather, are hanging close to the south side of the machine shed. They rabbits are wearing their fur coats and the sheep their woollies. It didn’t take me long to do chores but ...

A support group for draft horse collectors

A support group for draft horse collectors
Shortly after Mrs Ed and I bought the farm I got my first team of draft horses. As you know if you read an earlier post, that didn’t turn out so well. I am one who believes everything happens for a reason. My mistakes brought me to meet harness maker, Bernie Sampson. Like many people ...

“So, how many horses do you need?” 1

Did you ever do something that you knew you shouldn’t have done but did it anyway? I don’t hardly ever do this without first considering the ethics of the situation and the risk of getting caught. 99 percent of the time I talk myself into doing the right thing. But sometimes the temptation is just ...

The night the bull got out

The night the bull got out
Any kid that grew up on a dairy farm remembers being told “Watch out for the bull,” “Stay out of the pasture, the bull is out with the cows,” and “Don’t tease the bull.” We heard stories about farmers who had been killed by bulls who had gone mad. As kids we took these warnings ...

Beware of a free chicken

Beware of a free chicken
Every kid who grew up on a farm seems to have a mean chicken story. I was reminded of one last night. Several years ago, when Matt was a little kid, I bought some pullets from my brother. We were getting into the chicken and egg business and “ready to lay” pullets put us on ...

Sometimes kids are right

Sometimes kids are right
Mrs. Ed and I have a son. Matt, a recent college graduate, is in Washington, D.C. pursuing his dream of a career in journalism. He is pretty good at it and makes his parents proud. Matthew was always pretty sharp, even as a kid. For a brief time, I could get him to do things ...

Santa’s haulers

Santa's haulers
There is nothing quite as good as an old fashioned Iron Range pot luck. Mrs Ed and I were invited to one put on by the Cherry Township Recreation Board for the volunteers who helped with the Christmas program. On the way home I reflected on the day. T’was the 16 of December and all ...

A favorite old timer story

A favorite old timer story
I like to hang around “old timers” (people with more years of experience with draft horses than myself) because I always seem to learn something new and helpful. Most of the old timers I have encountered are the quiet type, willing to share their knowledge if you take the time to ask their advice and ...

Payback time

Payback time
A few years ago they got me with a good one. At that time I owned three oxen — Norman, Turk and Star. I would take them to the farm show at Blackberry. We would do a little plowing, but mostly I would bring them for people to see. They weighed over a ton each ...

The horses are nervous tonight

The horses are nervous tonight
The horses were nervous tonight. The wind shifted this afternoon. An east wind is not the norm, it usually means something is brewing. Horses seem to sense when storms are coming. A couple days before a cold snap, their appetites spike. They don’t like the wind and move around more than usual. I am a ...