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Two Plowmen Chatting in the Field
Richmond Farms, Newbury, hosted “Horse Days” so the public could see how farmers tilled the soil and planted crops before the gasoline engine tractors came into use. Dave and I felt like we were transported back in time. Everyone talked about the “Good Old Days” but from what I observed, the “Good Old Days” were filled with hard work.
The day started out cool with some ground fog. When the mists were burned away by the sun, the day became increasingly warmer. Both horses and masters needed a break. These two old friends had much to chat about . . . the weather, the crops, the price of seed and the ever changing government regulations.
As a young farm boy, John Kenneth Galbraith endured the tediousness of walking row on row behind the plow. He wanted more than that out of life, because even after all the hard work, there were the vagaries of the weather and then the market.
Ken took some agricultural courses in St. Thomas at the collegiate that was later named Arthur Voaden Secondary School, later going on to Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph to study agriculture and then agricultural economics. While he attended both Galbraith became a reporter for the St. Thomas Times-Journal. When Ken began a new page for farmers was initiated and Ken wrote a regular column and interviewed top-notch farmers of the region. He often went to the fields and interviewed the farmer on the spot or in the dairy or while they readied for market.
I thought this painting of the two ploughmen chatting could have been Galbraith conducting an interview out in the field, so I used part of the painting on the front cover of “Does It Pay?” – over two hundred interviews that Galbraith wrote during 1925-1932.
Hope this painting brings back some great memories for you. If you are interested in reading the interviews Galbraith wrote,
“Does It Pay?” is available on-line at or by emailing