Listen to Nathan Henderson “Drafting a Future”, a radiostory produced Lauren Ober, summer 2012.
Nathan Henderson doesn’t use a tractor to farm. To mow hay, till fields and harrow, he prefers riding behind of a team of Suffolk Punch draft horses. Henderson is old school, even though he’s just 29, and would take the smell of horse poop over diesel any day. (“Drafting a Future”)
At the time of the interview Henderson was working at Full and By Farm, Essex, NY. Currently he works at Reber Rock Farm, of which he is a founding member. Reber Rock Farm is an 88-acre draft powered farm on the southern edge of the Reber Valley in Essex, NY. Racey Bingham and Nathan Henderson began a 5-year lease-to-own with the Open Space Institute in March 2013. At the farm they offer training for draft horses, “pairing them with more knowledgeable working drafts to get them used to a range of farm implements, noises, situations, etc.” (Reber Rock Farm).
In the radiostory above Henderson is interviewed with his horses, and if you listen with your eyes closed you will be transported to the farm while he works the ground with them and cares for their hoofs. He shares a bit about the history of farming in the area (concerning tractors and horses) and his hopes for the future of farming.
To gain a greater understanding of life on a draft horse farm take a look at some of the Reber Rock Farm photo journals:
- Essex Farm: Carrotfest (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Pink Pig Open for Winter and Serving Breakfast & Lunch (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Essex Main Street Winter Scene (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm: Finishing Regular Season Share (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Sleigh Near Essex Community Church (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)