The first day or two of plowing is often a limited affair of several rounds. This gives the workers -- both the horses and the teamsters -- a chance to build up to the season. One acre of plowing equals about 10 miles of walking.
The first days of the plowing season also give the farmers an opportunity to make adjustments to the setup of their walking plows. Farmer Jeremy had some trouble early on, but made adjustments and now seems to be running smoothly.
Farmer Ian and Farmer Jeremy and their respective teams -- Jack & Chester and Bill & Jess -- were back out in the field today for a few more rounds. They are plowing last season's corn field to get it ready for planting oats.
The farmers are hesitant to set a firm date for when the oat field will be planted -- "It could start raining tomorrow and keep raining until May," reminds Farmer Rob -- but a traditional goal is to have the oats in the ground by Good Friday.which arrives in early April.
Today marked another season's first at Howell Farm. Visitor Tim Martin (pictured at the end of the slideshow) became the first visitor of the year to help guide the walking plow for a few rounds.