2013-08-01 / Letters

Saturday’s Peace Fair will feature ox power

To The Editor:

This Saturday marks the ninth annual Peace Fair, held by Peaceworks of Brunswick. A fun and lively gathering of artists, activists and others interested in compassionate and sustainable practices, the fair will sport a new addition to its host of family-friendly activities this year: an oxpower demonstration and cart rides facilitated by Working Villages International.

Mark Winslow of the Marston Homestead will be heading up the oxen activities with his daughter, Marissa. Marston Homestead in Falmouth, formerly Winslow's grandmother's farm, has raised oxen for six generations.

Mark and his family have traveled all over New England for plowing contests, farmer's pulls, workshops, dairy shows and other agricultural events to show and compete with working steers.

Working Villages International is a Brunswick-based nonprofit organization dedicated to getting rural people out of poverty. Currently working in the Democratic Republic of Congo, WVI is focused on providing training in organic farming methods supported by draft oxen power.

Ox power represents a lowcost, sustainable technology option for farmers in Africa. By using oxen, a small farm family can cultivate more land than would be possible using traditional hoe agriculture alone, allowing them to produce the surplus of crops necessary to rise above poverty levels. Oxen are efficient and environmentally friendly, without the ruinous costs of maintaining a tractor with high gas prices and replacement parts difficult to obtain. Appropriate, sustainable technology is a key factor in the economic development of places like the Congo, as WVI has seen in the success of the ox-training program on their working farm in the Ruzizi Valley.

Come and see these incredible oxen at work. The Peace Fair is free and open to the public on the Brunswick Mall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Betsey Swardlick
Working Villages
Inter national

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