These days farmers have a choice of cultivation methods to choose from. There’s No-Till where seeds are planted by the drill into stubble, Min-Till where only light cultivations precede the drill and finally the traditional Plough-cultivate-drill. The plough is now seldom seen in action on the farm. It’s expensive in both wearing parts, fuel and most of all, time. Ironically I’ve done more ploughing this year than ever before, but then, what do I know about anything? The skill of ploughing is maintained by the countryside’s hidden sport of the Ploughing Match. Friend Ian took along his vintage crawler tractor and plough (my plough stayed at home so I didn’t advertise my lack of skill!)…
The art of the ploughman is kept alive,
when to the ploughing match tractors arrive.
They plough an opening furrow long and straight,
this is then judged a nerve-wracking wait.
Then off to the neighbour’s furrow in with the plough,
and slowly start ploughing, is it level now?
Adjustments are made to furrow, width and pitch,
concentrate now and stop before ditch!
The last furrow should match up well with your first,
then it’s off to the beer tent to satisfy your thirst!
With thanks to Ian and Charlotte for the photo, and best of luck to the winners who go onto the next level. I shall return to my plough and pretend I have the skill.
© Baldock Bard 2016
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