Finally, some sun for tractor pull

After several days of rain, which caused the Fall Tractor Pull to be postponed for a day, the sun shone on Northville Farm Heritage Centre. People of all ages were able to attend, including a number of children and even a baby. Although the adults focused on the tractors competing to pull the heaviest weights, the kids entertained themselves quite nicely. The antique hand pump mounted in between a couple of NFHC buildings has challenged them for a number of years: can you actually get water out of that? A new swing set, with antique equipment seats, was similarly of interest.

The track had been packed down especially hard before the event – and before the rain – but all the water that fell still made it necessary to grade the surface in between weight classes. Only Mike Sandford made the full pull of 250 feet, with his 1963 Cockshutt, in the 11,000 lb. class.

“It was still pretty good day”, says chairman Jos VanOoostrum. “People seemed to be having a good time.”

About twenty tractors took part, with an average of three hookups each.

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Tractor Pull Postponed!

The Antique Tractor Pull planned for Saturday, Oct. 3, has been postponed until Sunday, Oct. 4, due to rain.

Everyone is welcome to attend this event, which should get underway by about ten a.m. (if the rain ever stops!!!). The Cookhouse will be open.

You should have been there!

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Our September 6 Harvest Festival came with full sun, high temperatures and a nice breeze – in other words, ideal weather for an outdoor event. This resulted in a very good attendance, as evidenced by Cookhouse sales that almost doubled those of last year’s event. For planners, weather is always the big question, and we got lucky.

As a result, the harvesting crew was able to demonstrate the old ways of mowing and threshing a crop of dry oats. This remains the prime reason for having a harvest event, but other attractions have been added over the years to bring out people of every age group. They include the baking, gardening, and knitting competitions. The latter was new this year but attracted a good number of entries. In fact, the second place winner in both the socks and hats classes was an 80+ man, who entered his delicately made baby bonnet and booties. Having visitors identify old tools remains very popular also.

For kids, the face painting, fish pond, and balloon animals remain big attractions. But their enjoyment of this event is far broader than that. Where else would they, especially town kids, find a large, safe property where they can run around freely in the fresh, clean air? Ice cream is just one more big bonus.

The photos above, collectively, are worth more than a thousand words.

Coming up next: HARVEST FESTIVAL September 6, 2015

Plans are underway for this year’s Harvest Festival, to be held Sunday September 6. The main feature, as always, will be the harvesting and threshing of the NFHC’s crop of oats, using antique equipment only. If you’ve wondered how your ancestors gathered their grain, come and look! Combined with the harvest, there will be an ox pull with many teams expected from around the province. It’s quite amazing how strong these animals are.

In addition to that, several fun events and competitions will take place. There will be new classes in the baking and garden competition, while the knitting competition is being added as an entirely new feature. (See details below.) For children there will be a fish pond, face painting, and balloon animals, not to mention the sandbox and swing set. All members of the family can enjoy the Fur and Feathers display, and it will even be possible to discover how much your entire family weighs when you pile on the scale together. Another new challenge is to identify antique items by matching them to the story that goes with them – it’s up to you to decide which story matches each artifact.

No doubt there will be antique tractors, trucks and cars around, and each year the displays are somewhat different. Last year there was an antique bicycle, and an older man riding it. Who knows what’s next?threshing machine copy2013-09-01_12.21.34

Baking competition:

Classes: 1: dinner rolls, 2: rolled molasses cookies, 3: apple pie. Prizes: $25, $10., and $10 in each class, in grocery gift cards.

Garden competition:

Classes: 1: Attractive display of garden products, 2: Attractive flower arrangement. Prizes as above.

Knitting competition:

Classes: 1: Knitted hat, 2: Knitted socks. Prizes: as above.

All entries must be delivered to Heritage Hall between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 noon on the day of the event.

We hope our Harvest Festival will be part of your Labour Day weekend celebrations!

Hand mowing competition: lots of fun!

We held our first ever hand mowing competition on Saturday (July 25) under skies that occasionally dripped, but not enough to spoil the enjoyment of the event. Mowing grass by hand with a scythe is mostly a forgotten art, with small exceptions. This event was one of them, and a dozen competitors showed varying degrees of expertise. A few were experts, others had done it on occasion, and then there were the beginners who possibly enjoyed it most of all.

As the instructor told us, “Forget about the blade and just focus on keeping the blade low to the ground while making a circle with the end of the scythe”. Participants were judged on speed, style, accuracy, width of cut, and length of remaining oat stalks.

Besides mowing a 25′ length of oats, some of the more intrepid also tried mowing around a wooden chair, set into the crop with an empty bottle on it, and on top of the bottle, a raw egg. Any shaking of the chair naturally disqualified further participation.

Participants ranged in age from twenty-one to eighty years, with both men and women competing.


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Not just old guys at horse pull!

The weather could not have been better at the June 4 horse pull, with sunny skies making this the perfect day for relaxing in a lawn chair with a hamburger and drink while watching the horses go. As for the horses, many teams were so keen to pull that teamsters had trouble hitching them on to the drag. What was especially noticeable this year was the number of younger men and boys taking part, suggesting that horse teams don’t just belong in the olden days. As the photos show, varying ages were represented.


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Horse pull coming up on July 4!

tan horses pulling

Northville Farm Heritage Centre

and its affiliate Western Nova Scotia Draft Horse Association

will present a

Horse pull

Saturday, July 4 (rain date July 11)

9 a.m. weigh-off

Pull starts at noon

The Cookhouse will be open all day

Admission by freewill donation

For more information, email:

4-H Judging competitions held at NFHC

Kings County’s 4-H groups held their judging competitions at NFHC on the evening of June 8. Members were challenged to not only rank the items or animals they were judging, but to give their reasons for doing so. Projects ranged from photography to baking to goats to miniature horses, and many others in between. The NFHC grounds and buildings provided plenty of suitable space, with larger animals outdoors under sunny skies, while baking and photography were indoors in Heritage Hall. Sometimes the story is best told in photos: see below.