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Archived Tillers News



2010 Class Schedule and PayPal registration is on-line

January, 2010

Our website's listing of classes and PayPal registration has been updated for 2010. Call or click to register for your classes. Don't hesitate, many classes fill early. Tillers is offering a number of exciting new classes this year: Sicklebar Mower Clinic, Spinning Wool I, Spinning Wool II, Hand-twisted Cattail Rush Stool, Basic Bench Metalworking, Natural Wool Dyeing, Blacksmithing III, Ecology Field Day, Mission Style Rocking Chair, Wooden Duck Decoy Carving, and Appalachian Art Brooms!


Tillers' ARC contest entries have made it to the final round to be judged by the panel

November, 2009

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

November, 2009

Click to view the newsletter (PDF 1.2MB)!

Tillers submits second ARC contest entry: Cushioning Climate Change with Farm Water Catchments

October, 2009

Click to read, comment on, and endorse our proposal.

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

September 15th, 2009

Read and endorse Tillers' proposal for improving ox-powered farm tools! Thanks to everyone who voted for us in Round Two. Tillers finished in fourth place. Round Three voting is now open! Your vote can help Tillers win project funding!



Harvest Fest featured in the Kalamazoo Gazette's Hometown Gazette

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Click to read the article!



Harvest Fest featured in the Battle Creek Enquirer

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Click to read the article!



Harvest Fest featured in the Kalamazoo Gazette

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Click to read the article!



Harvest Fest speaker Sherri Brooks Vinton featured in the Kalamazoo Gazette

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Click to read the article!



Tillers project to raise a timber framing class project at our Inwood Farm featured in a photo article in the Petoskey News-Review

August 31th, 2009

Click to view the article and slideshow!



Tillers is now on Twitter!

August, 2009



Inwood Farm in Charlevoix, MI

Inwood work days

August 27th through 29th, 2009

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

Springhill Barn receives paint

July, 2009

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

July, 2009

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

June 3rd, 2009

Click to read the article.



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 Draft Animal Barn Raising
Abbey Barn deconstructed, relocated & raised

March-present, 2009

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.



Plow Day 2009
Plow Day

April 25th, 2009

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

June 2008

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.



Tillers on HobbyFarms.com

Search "Tillers International" at hobbyfarms.com to read about Tillers.



Tillers Featured in mLive video posted by the Kalamazoo Gazette


Tillers' 2007 NEH Workshops for educators was featured in a video posted on mLive.com and YouTube.com by the Kalamazoo Gazette. Click to learn more about the workshop and view the video.



"Learning from the Land": Tillers in Mother Earth News

June/July 1997

Click to read the article.





Tillers eNews

Tillers eNews is a fast and inexpensive way of keeping our friends informed. Our goal is to keep it to the five minutes of reading that is most newsworthy and absolutely electrifying!


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Nigh Ox Newsletter

Published quarterly, the Nigh Ox keeps Tillers' friends and members abreast of our news, events, and classes. Click for color PDFs of our back issues. (What is a nigh ox?)



September 2010


March 2010


September 2009


March 2009


December 2008


September 2008


June 2008


December 2007


October 2006


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October 2005


April 2005


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August 2003


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April 2001


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November 2000


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Summer 1992

V11 #2


Spring 1992

V11 #1


Summer 1990

V10 #2


Spring 1990

V10 #1


Summer 1989

V9 #2


Spring 1989

V9 #1


Fall 1988

V8 #3


Summer 1988

V8 #2


Spring 1988

V8 #1


Winter 1987

V7 #4


Fall 1987

V7 #3


Summer 1987

V7 #2


Spring 1987

V7 #1


Fall/Winter 1986

V6 #3


Summer 1986

V6 #2


Winter 1986

V6 #1


Winter 1985

V5 #1


Spring 1984

V4 #1


Spring 1982

V2 #1


Summer 1981

V1 #1





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