(NC)—Every fall, somewhere in Ontario, the International Plowing Match is held, drawing over 80,000 rural and urban people and covering hundreds of acres of land.
Plowing matches are a part of Ontario’s history with the first recorded match held in Toronto in 1846. The match was a highlight of the first provincial exhibition and was held on a farm on Young Street near St. Claire Avenue. The methods for plowing have changed significantly over the past century, starting in the 1800s with draft horses and oxen, to the highly advanced farm machinery available today.
Plowing, also known as tilling, is the act of breaking-up and turning-over soil. It is done after crops are harvested in the fall to help bury crop residues and distribute valuable nutrients throughout the soil, aerate the soil, control weeds, and help the soil retain moisture.
When you are driving through the countryside this fall, plowing will be easy to identify. If a field has been harvested (only plant residue or stems in the field) and there is a tractor churning the soil, that is a farmer plowing.
This year, the International Plowing Match will be held in St. Thomas, September 21 – 26. Many farm organizations, including Grain Farmers of Ontario, will exhibit elaborate displays for both urban and farm visitors. If you are in the area, visit the International Plowing Match to learn all about plowing.
You can also learn more online at www.whatsgrowingon.ca.