I peeked into the woodshop this morning and it was supremely tidy. This clamped table was the only object that stood out. This past weekend Jim Crammond taught a class on how to make a Shaker Style Table. It was a small group from what I hear, but it appears someone was successful in piecing one together. Shakers believed that making something well was an “act of prayer”. Whoever carved this yoke in the Oxen Basics class last week must have been praying pretty hard because it sure came out nice. The sun was coming in through the window just right and the clean lines of this simple technology seemed to speak more to the Shaker aesthetic than all the metal clamps around the table. Wil Dancey from Dancey Family Farms in Ontario joined us last week for a truncated class. He made an eight inch yoke, I believe, for his Devon yearlings he hopes to train. Our beloved volunteer Duane Vedders also came for two morning of driving, and Julian Lauzzana from Earthen Heart Homestead in Bangor, MI came for a one day introduction.
From the woodshop, I made my way to the practice fields. Jaymee and Grif were ready to begin plowing behind Maza, John, Ellen and David (in the distance) who were testing the ripper again with its new circular blade fixed to the front of the toolbar. This has been done in hopes of keeping the ripper shank from getting clogged with grass and residue. You can’t see the blade in the below picture but it seems to be performing more effectively when some weight is applied above it. David was leaning on it as it made its way and all the grass was being sheared ahead of the ripper. A suggestion was made to have a seat for children attached to the toolbar above the blade. 60 to 80 pounds would work perfectly, and it would be fun for the kids!