We have a unique variety of other pieces of horse drawn equipment in use throughout the year. While as a group they don't make a neat category like hay making or field prep, we wanted to showcase them as well.
The cultivator has small, triangular points which will pull up weeds. These are spaced so that it can be used between rows of field crops. We primarily use it on our corn fields. We weed the fields with the cultivator until the plant stalks reach a height where they would be damaged by either the machinery or by our hungry mares, who sometimes like to snack on whatever is handy while walking through the fields. We prefer they wait until the corn is matured into ears before we feed it to them! Our cultivator is one of our newer pieces of machinery, currently in production by I & J Manufacturing, and not an antique like lots of our other pieces.
By far, the most well-used piece of equipment on the farm, and the only one used all 12 months out of the year. It is parked in the barn and filled each time we clean the stalls. When full, it is pulled through the fields. The beater bars in the rear spin, throwing out pieces of manure as it goes, leaving a thin layer that enhances the soil quality in the garden when it is dormant or returns nutrients to the pasture and hay fields.
Possibly one of the oldest pieces of machinery we have, this makes harvesting potatoes a much easier job. We estimate it dates from the 1880's. The front digs into the ground, digging up the potatoes beneath the soil. The chain-like part in the middle shakes the dirt loose from the potatoes, and the operator can attach a sack in the back to bag the potatoes.
This turn of the century piece of equipment would have been used to level dirt roads and driveways to smooth out the surface and eliminate potholes. The large blade at ground level is fully adjustable and very similar to the diesel-powered ones in use today on dirt roads in rural areas. The large wheels Emily is holding on to raise and lower each side of the blade, enabling it to be used to angle a surface or to grade it level. It can also be set off center of the wheel base for getting into the ditch while the horses remain on solid ground, and the blade can be angled to direct the excess dirt to be thrown to either the left or right hand sides. We use it here to plow snow and to clean out mud accumulating around the barn. The tongue extending to the right hand side of the photo is attached to the forecart so one person can drive while the other is responsible for adjusting the blade. If a long tongue were attached, the driver would sit just above the front wheels (seat is missing, but you can see the bracket). Unlike most of our other equipment, you need more than one person to operate the road grader
Every farm needs a good all-purpose wagon. Dan built this one using the frame of a pickup truck that was no longer roadworthy. You see it here filled with corn that we will use for animal feed. We harvest this in the late fall, once the ears have finished drying on the stalks. The horses pull the wagon through the cornfield and we walk alongside, throwing the hand-picked ears into it. It also gets use hauling firewood and other materials around the farm. Once, it was even decorated up and used to carry Emily and Dan and their wedding party from the ceremony at the farm to the nearby reception.