06 Dec '11, 12pm

Small farmers crave horse power via @grist

Small farmers crave horse power via @grist

Photo: Donn Hewes Ask any 5-year-old: Few tools symbolize the farm like a trundling tractor. In fact, you'd have to reach further back in time to find an equally enduring symbol: the horse. And while there's little doubt that tractors have revolutionized farm labor and made farms much more efficient than they were in past centuries, a growing number of farmers are taking the back-to-the-land ethos as far as it will go and choosing horses and mules over John Deere. "Maybe it's a [glimpse] into the future," says Adam Davidoff, co-owner of New Family Farm in Sebastopol, Calif. Davidoff is 25 and relatively new to farming; he works with a team of three draft horses to pull various farm implements that prepare beds, cultivate, plant, and harvest row crops. But he also sees horsepower as a proactive approach to mitigating negative environmental changes. Instead of buying manure ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/sustainable-farming/2011-12-06-small...

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