Farmer Rob hesitates to speculate when the first plowing of the spring might come. Every year is different, and there's still snow on the ground and in the forecast.
Before plowing, and very soon, the horses will be back to work pulling the manure spreader. Manure spreading days develop a cadence. The farmers load the spreader via pitchfork, they drive the horses and the spreader out to the field, they spread the manure, they return to the manure pile, then they load the spreader again. Repeat and repeat. But each time the giant winter manure pile gets a little smaller and then finally it's gone.
The manure helps return fertility to the soil. But there are other benefits to this end of winter work -- it's an excellent warm up for the horses, and for our farmers too.