I arrived in Carlyle, Sasketchwan on September 5 and met up with fellow WIN member Denis who had invited me to spend some time at his farm which is about 25 miles south of Carlyle and a little North of Alida Sasketchwan. I was excited to visit during the harvest time, but unfortunately, I brought rain and the harvest was delayed a few weeks.
It’s hard to believe I have been here for more than a month. Time flies. There is so much to learn about farming. A a child I loved driving through the country and seeing the ranches and farms in California and always though it would be fun to live on a farm. The past month has fulfilled some of those fantasies. I’ve learned about swathing, combining, and binning. I’ve learned to drive the huge 4X4 tractor to help pull out the combine machine when it gets stuck as well as the smaller tractor with the commercial mower on it. With all of the rain, the grass keeps on growing. Denis said he has never seen the grass so green so late.
Denis farms canola, wheat and flax. He owns several thousand acres and his brother Armand also owns several thousand acres and they work together to seed and harvest. Usually by Canadian Thanksgiving which is Monday, the harvest is over. As of today, the harvest is only about a third done. The canola harvest was finished earlier in the week. What usually takes only a few days took over a week due to the poor weather. There was hail and rain and the swaths were scattered making it difficult to combine, and the canola was starting to sprout, which makes for a poor quality crop.
The wheat harvest has started and the combining is going much faster, as the wheat has had a chance to dry out. There are still over 300 acres to combine before the flax can be harvest. The mornings are humid so the combining usually doesn’t get started until mid morning when the dew has dried up which means the combining continues until well after dark. Last night I took dinner out to Denis and the drive back to the farm in the dark was really eerie with all of the combine lights shining in the fields. The push is on to get the harvest done before bad weather sets in.
Internet is non-existant. Dial up is available but really, really, slow, so no pictures for now. I'll be making a trip into "town" soon and some pictures posted.