Monday April 9, 2012
Labour of Love
Chilliwack Plowing Match set for April 14 rain or shine
Staff/Voice file photo
Banker George Bowen from Lynden Washington with his two draft horses, Mike and Pat at the Chilliwack Plowing Match last year. Bowen travels around Washington and BC again in the Lynden Plowing Match in two-weeks with judging from Chilliwack's Pierre Sache.
t's that time of year once again when metal hits dirt in the Chilliwack and the tiller men will be breaking sod in the Annual Plowing Match featuring vintage tractors and good old fashioned horse-drawn plows.
While agriculture is of daily importance to many people in Chilliwack, the sport of plowing matches actually transcends the field by educating a growing portion of the community unaware of what's involved in farming, the different methods, history and some of the technological advances.
Good plowing is a the land's best friend and when famers prepare seed beds they are also working to control weeds that get mulched helping to increase the soil's ability to retain water.
When fields are properly plowed and furrowed rows are turned over at the proper angle then a "furrow comb" is created which then makes for a good seed bed and slows the wind overtop of the fields which in turn reduces soil erosion and helps stop the soil from being blown away.
The oldest known plow dates back to 2000 BC and through the eons, farmers who plow the land belong to a specific fraternity and have always shared a common bond of friendship across Canada and the USA.
The Chilliwack plowing match is a family event featuring draft horses, antique tractors and modern competition plows. There is a Mayors class, featuring the mayors of local communities and cash prizes.
Match contestants have an one-and-a-half hours to finish their plots and points are assessed for straightness of rows, how the rows are furrowed in relation to the crown. Judging is also based on covering weeds, firmness and packing and just the general appearance of the plowed plots.
Its on from 10:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M. General admission is $5. Children under 12 are free. The event takes place rain or shine. If it is soggy out then bring some gumbo boots.
There is limited parking available and the plowing takes place at 9825 McLeod Road.
Connect with organizer Pierre Sachel on Facebook here.
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