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Northville Farm Heritage Centre celebrates Planting Day

BILLTOWN - The farming practices of yesteryear are far from forgotten at the Northville Farm Heritage Centre.

The centre hosted the annual Planting Day festivities May 12 as part of an ongoing mandate to preserve the memory of Annapolis Valley farming methods from the first half of the twentieth century.

The day-long event provided the general public with an opportunity to watch teams of horses plow fields with antique equipment.

John McCully, president of the heritage centre’s executive board, has his team of Percherons – 22-year-old Kate and Annie – out tilling the fields for the special occasion. His horses have helped with a lot of farm chores, been used for sleigh rides and even done some work for film crews.

Oxen and antique tractors are also used to prep the fields on the heritage centre property on Planting Day.

Beyond the planting activities, there were historical displays featuring an assortment of vintage farming tools and antique automobiles.

There was a mix of traditional and new sights to behold at Planting Day this year.

Arthur Dykens of Canning brought his own conversation starter to the social occasion, a modified lawn tractor that has the front end of an old dirt bike. Dykens laughs as he recalls Harley owners going out of their way to have their photos taken on his modified ride-on mower, playfully dubbed the “mow chop,” at a recent Wharf Rat Rally in Digby

“It was just an idea I came up with,” he said, noting that the mower was missing front wheels when he got it.

“It turns a lot sharper than a regular lawnmower,” he added with a laugh.


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