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News Community Plow Days at Deal Farms draws crowd

Plow Days at Deal Farms, a bi-annual event, featured wagon rides, plowing demonstrations, barbecue and a corn maze. Ray Belk from Sylva gave rides to visitors with his team, Snip and Snap. Photo by Betsey GooderThe cold weather does not stop a true farmer. The first of nip of the fall was in the air but plowing teams still came to Deal Farms Saturday morning, October 1, for an all-day event of plowing the ground. There is certainly plenty of land to be plowed. There was only a small section at the end of the field that the farmers were plowing, using old fashioned plows and teams of horses and mules. Elsewhere on the farm, more modern plows were being used.

There was no contest involved in the teams plowing, although there have been in the past and other farms that hold similar events will have contests for the best teams. However, the farmers that came out Saturday morning to Deal Farms were there for the sport of plowing, and to these farmers it is a sport. Randy Estep, a local farmer, came out with his team of horses. He said “it is more economical to plow the ground with horses and the ground is more mellow that way.” John Marr said, “it is the horses that do the hard part of the work.”

Not only is plowing a sport to these farmers, but is also an opportunity to keep a very important part of local history alive. As Estep was plowing the ground with his horses, Henry and Lucy, he commented that this was the way that he used to do it. “It is old-timey and we are just trying to carry it on," he said. “I'm 53 years old and I can only remember two years that we did not have a work horse.”

A wagon pulled by miniature horses driven by Felicia Houston carried Caroline Deal, Alyssa Smith, Annalise Fon, Brody Fon, Braxton Deal and Bryson Geoghagan around the fields.Events such as the Deal Farms Plow Day also gives these farmers the chance to come together to learn and show off their teams. Work horses have to be specially trained to for roughly six weeks to be able to properly work on the farm.

Highway Patrolman Clay Cogdill was on hand with a team of horses and a wagon to give rides around the farm. Visitors could stop by the main building of the farm where they could find locally grown fresh produce, pumpkins and cornstocks for sale. After enjoying a plate of barbeque with slaw and baked beans people could take a ride in Cogdill's wagon down to watch the plow teams and over to the winding corn maze.

Deal Farms is located on 64 West at 4402 Murphy Rd. For more information about the farm, call (828)524-5151.Matt Hoyle drives his mules Head and Jed. Photos by Betsey Gooder and Kimberly PruettRandy Estep and John Marr plow the ground the old fashioned way, with a team of horses.











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