We use our draft horses to plow, spread compost, and knock out weeds, among other tasks. Although we have a tractor, we try to limit its use to activities the horses can’t do–like turning the compost.
Full Circus Farm grafting many apple varieties! Honeycrisp, Macintosh, Cortland, Jonagold, Rome, Empire, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Pink-A-Boo, Macoun, Keepsake, Baldwin, and Ashmead’s Kernel among others. Hard cider apples are also on our list including varieties such as Esopus Spitzenberg, Ellis Bitter, and Wickson. We’re also growing peaches, pears, asian pears, cherries, apricots and plums.
There are many reasons why we are drawn to farming with horses: environmental concerns (they eat grass instead of fossil fuels, compact our soils less, and their manure is an important source of fertility) and bumpy tractors that smell like diesel make us feel queasy, but ultimately, we use draft power because we have fallen in love with working with horses. There is something magical about the working relationship you build with your animals.