The role of Living Energy Farm is to create a prototype of an energy self-sufficient community, employing an elegantly designed mix of old and new technologies. Our aim is to live comfortably and well, employing technologies and tools that are inexpensive, simple, and durable. We want our model to be applicable to as many people as possible, regardless of their income. Draft animals play an uncertain role in this scheme. Many of the world's poorest farmers use oxen. These animals reproduce themselves and can eat plant matter for "fuel." When American agriculture was based on draft animals, about one-third of total agricultural output was used to feed the draft animals themselves. Can we feed the world's current population with agricultural systems based on draft animals? Probably not. At LEF, we use hand labor in our gardens. A modest amount of mobile mechanical assitance can be really helpful on a small farm. To that end, we are working on our Farm Grown Fuels program (see separate photo gallery). Our plan in the beginning was to have oxen at LEF to assess how well they fit with an overall program of energy self sufficiency. We have since dropped that program. But the oxen did make for some interesting photos, and those follow. We do NOT currently have any draft animals at LEF.

Visting ox Luke Conner's oxen Oxen meet LEF's small oxen Horse drawn cultivator Discing with oxen Ploughing with oxen LEF's oxen Oxen sled Ox social time LEF's oxen 2