A visit to the Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany

Posted July 22, 2014, at 5:29 a.m.
Anna Goff of Rockland tries her hand at driving workhorses as farm co-owner Seth Yentes walks alongside during the  Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany.
Gabor Degre | BDN
Anna Goff of Rockland tries her hand at driving workhorses as farm co-owner Seth Yentes walks alongside during the Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany. Buy Photo
Edith Gawler, left, and her husband Bennett Konesni, right, led the works song workshop during Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany at North Branch Farm in Monroe Thursday.  &quotCultures from every continent used work songs to enliven their everyday tasks," said Konesni who co-owns Duckback Farm with his wife in Belfast.
Gabor Degre | BDN
Edith Gawler, left, and her husband Bennett Konesni, right, led the works song workshop during Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany at North Branch Farm in Monroe Thursday. "Cultures from every continent used work songs to enliven their everyday tasks," said Konesni who co-owns Duckback Farm with his wife in Belfast. Buy Photo
People weed onions while singing work songs as Seth Yentes, right, demonstrates cultivating with horses during the Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany at the North Branch Farm in Monroe Thursday.
Gabor Degre | BDN
People weed onions while singing work songs as Seth Yentes, right, demonstrates cultivating with horses during the Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany at the North Branch Farm in Monroe Thursday. Buy Photo
People weed onions while singing work songs during Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany at the North Branch Farm in Monroe.  Farm co-owner Elsie Gawler said that MOFGA approched them if they would host the workshop that drew over 60 people.
Gabor Degre | BDN
People weed onions while singing work songs during Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany at the North Branch Farm in Monroe. Farm co-owner Elsie Gawler said that MOFGA approched them if they would host the workshop that drew over 60 people. Buy Photo
North Branch Farm co-owner Seth Yentes, left, talks about the use of horses on a farm during the Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany at the North Branch Farm in Monroe.
Gabor Degre | BDN
North Branch Farm co-owner Seth Yentes, left, talks about the use of horses on a farm during the Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany at the North Branch Farm in Monroe. Buy Photo

MONROE, Maine — It was a perfect summer day, with the sun shining over the fields. A man driving horses cultivated vegetables as sounds of a song came from a distance, where others weeded the crops.

You would think it’s a movie about life 100 years ago, but in fact it was the scene at North Branch Farm last week. The farm was host of the Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany, a workshop organized by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

If you have hundreds of feet of vegetable beds to weed, songs can make the task easier, said Edith Gawler, who led the workshop with her husband, Bennett Konesni. Many workshop participants offered their own songs or shared experiences.

Seth and Tyler Yentes, Anna Shapley-Quinn and Elsie Gawler own and operate North Branch Farm, where they grow organic vegetables, tend fruit trees, and raise pigs and beef and dairy cows.

About 60 people attended the workshop, which ended with a potluck meal and square dance.

 

CORRECTION:

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the organization as the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association.

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