Tillers' ARC contest entries have made it to the final round to be judged by the panel
Tillers first ARC proposal, "Re-Designing Africa's Ox-Powered Farm Tools," placed in the top ten in three of the four prelimary rounds of public voting. Our second proposal, "Cushioning Climate Change with Farm Water Catchments," was posted later and never made it to the top ten. However, the judges decided to include both proposals in the final round for consideration by the panel. Thanks so much to all those who persevered through the ARC site's technical difficulties to endorse and comment on Tillers' proposals!
Springhill Barn featured in Michigan Barn Preservation Network newsletter
Summary: "The ability to build moderate-sized reservoirs at low-cost for irrigation water - that will fill-in for rains missing from traditional growing seasons - can reduce the affects of changes in rain patterns cause by global warming and immediately boost farm production. By using local animal power to construct the reservoirs, international support can pump a dramatic economic stimulus into farm communities while preparing them to weather the greenhouse effects that global industrialization seems to be causing."
Tillers enters the returned Peace Corps volunteers' Africa Rural Connect Competition
August 27-29 Tillers held work days at Inwood in Charlevoix. The timber frame built during the fall 2008 Timber Framing class was raised to house a team of oxen and the old stone slaughterhouse got a new roof. Thanks to all the volunteers who came out to help! Click to view a photo slideshow of the raising!
Springhill Barn receives paint
Finishing touches are being applied to the Springhill Barn as it receives its barn red paint job this week. The cupola is also being prepared for installation. Click to view a photo slideshow of Springhill Barn progress!
Horse Progress Days article on Bob Okello
This year's Horse Progress Days guide book featured a wonderful article about Bob Okello, who visited HPD in 2007. Bob, a talented metalworker from Uganda, has worked with Tillers and designed a plow appropriate for the animals, materials, and mechanics available in Uganda based on a Pioneer plow he was able to study at HPD and the Pioneer factory in 2007. This year, Bob packed the disassembled plow as luggage and flew from Uganda to visit Horse Progress Days again. He and Tillers' staff and interns demonstrated his plow in comparison to the original Pioneer version. Click to read the article (PDF 0.8M)!
Tillers' first Blacksmithing for Boy Scouts Class
June 6th and 7th, 2009
Saturday and Sunday, June 6th and 7th, Tillers hosted its first ever Blacksmithing for Boy Scouts class. The class was taught by Tillers' instructor Bruce Woodward, Shops Coordinator John Sarge, and volunteer assistant instructors Holly Fisher of Smartshop, Paul Carlson, and Herb Nehring. Over a period of two days, 12 Scouts learned such blacksmithing skills as drawing out a taper, making a decorative twist, riveting, and making an L-shaped bend. At the end of the two day session, each Scout had earned his Metalworking Merit Badge. The class was generously sponsored by Alro Metals plus of Kalamazoo and Dan Wood Co. Click to view a photo slideshow of the class! The class was also featured in the Sunday, June 7th, 2009 Kalamazoo Gazette, click to view!
Tillers is now on Facebook!
Cheesemaker Barbara Jenness featured in Michigan Wine Country Magazine
Tillers featured in the South County Commercial-Express, a publication of the Kalamazoo Gazette
May 9th, 2009
Tillers was featured in the Saturday, May 9, 2009, edition of the South County Commercial-Express, a publication of the Kalamazoo Gazette, Vol. 130 No. 19. Farm Coordinator Dulcy Perkins, intern Elijah Massey, and ox team Marco and Polo traveled to the Vicksburg Historic Village for a plowing demonstration on April 29, 2009. Click to read the full text of the article.
Abbey Barn deconstructed, relocated & raised
Tillers has completed the deconstruction of the draft animal barn on the George Abbey / former Tillers' site. The property has been sold, and all the remaining buildings demolished. The draft animal barn was the last barn in salvageable condition. The frame was repaired and reconstructed during Tillers' April Timber Framing and Raising class. Click for more information, to view a flash slideshow of photos from the project, or to donate to the project.
Rain storms threatened Tillers' annual Plow Day April 25th, but in the relatively clear skies between outbursts Tillers' and guest oxen and horse teams plowed this year's to-be corn field. Thanks to all who braved the weather!
Scattergood School volunteer visit
April 19th-25th, 2009
Students from Scattergood Friends School, a private Quaker boarding high school in Iowa, visited and volunteered at Tillers for a week during our April Timber Framing class. The students helped with farm chores, spring clean-up of the house and grounds, and the timber frame raising on April 25th. Thanks for all the hard work!
Launch of the Mozambique Project
March 16th, 2009
On March 16, Brian Webb and Rob Burdick departed to launch our Mozambique Learning Center project. They will spend the next three months establishing a Learning Center, which will function as workshop space and advanced ox farming college. Brian will remain on site as the program manager.
Tillers attends MOSES Farming Conference
La Crosse, Wisconsin
February 26th-28th, 2009
The organic growers of the upper Midwest know how to host a conference. They gathered 2,500 people in a string of concurrent sessions running 10 abreast, and keynotes running from Thursday to Saturday, February 26th through 28th. Todd Juzwiak and Dick Roosenberg gave a presentation to perhaps 150 people on farming with draft animals. Andrew Roberts and Larry Brummund helped staff a Tillers booth. One of the most exciting opportunities for Tillers was to meet the former Tillers' interns farming in the area. Robert Schultz, Summer Deal, Alex Crockford, Chris (Svenson) Chew, Todd, and Andrew were among the interns Dick was reunited with (Ed Chew was home shoeing horses). Several of these former interns are working with draft animals. Many other students stopped by the Tillers booth, including Mike and Ellen Moore who gave us a team of draft horses, Mike and Penny.
Tillers on PBS
Tillers was featured on PBS's the Woodwright's Shop with Roy Underhill, season 27, episode 11. Click to see the video at PBS.com.
Tillers in Popular Woodworking Magazine
Tillers was also featured in an article in Popular Woodworking Magazine, entitled "Great Workshops: Woodworking with a Mission" by Jeff Skiver, June 2008, p. 74. Click for the article abstract and to view a PDF slideshow of beautiful photographs of Tillers taken for the article.