Thursday, September 19, 2013

An Hour in the Field

1:15pm Tuesday, it's hot, sunny and windy. The phone rings.
"We could use something to eat out here. Would you ...?"
I have just finished eating a bowl of freshly concocted Mexican soup myself. It's loaded with black beans, tomatoes, corn, and celery; it's practically stew. It will have to do, as it's well past lunchtime, they'll be starving, and I can't think of anything else to prepare in a hurry. I pack up two bowls of the soup, topped with grated cheddar and chopped red onion; two plastic spoons; two large chunks of chocolate cake; and several low-alcohol beers. Then I get on my way.
Scott's brother Bruce  is squatted down by the window of the car,  finishing his lunch. He's been pulling the baler.

The combining is nearly done, and there are half a dozen vehicles and machinery scattered about the land. I ask if they need any help and am told yes, they could use me to drive the bale wagon:
Twenty round bales will be loaded up.

I get in behind the biggest steering wheel in the world.

Scott, in the tractor, picks up and loads the bales.

I've got the easy job, just following him around the field.

It doesn't take long, and by the time it's done, the last load of grain is emptied out of the combine hopper and I drive the grain truck home:

That's it for the harvest for these guys. Now there's just field work to be done; cultivating, that sort of thing. And more bales to be brought home.
Around the neighbourhood, many farmers are still in full swing. But for our family, the pressure is off for this year.