We’re done! We finished combining at 1 a.m. this morning. As I drove the combine home from the field, rain drops began splashing on the window. Just in time! This morning we had several short downpours.
The weather report had that ‘s’ word in it for this week (snow), so Loren was anxious to get those last 270 acres of canola harvested. We had four combines out there yesterday. They made short work of the job. Beat, who ran the grain cart, did a lot of guessing in the dark, trying to figure out which combine lights were from whom. Loren’s combines have radios, but the two ‘guests’ didn’t. Michael worked up quite a sweat trying to keep up with trucking the canola to the bin. It took us less than four hours to harvest a 170 acre field of canola, which yielded an average of about 40 bushels per acre.
I’ll miss working with the guys. Loren had a great crew again this year. There’s my ‘tribal cousin’ Beat Fehlman, a 36 year old friend of our son Mike in Switzerland who wanted to experience a harvest season in Canada. At the beginning of September Beat expressed despair that we would ever get all those acres of grain into the bin. It’s been a real experience for him to be part of that. The others were pretty patient with our Swiss gibberish on the radios.
Michael Kikkernik, a 23 year old neighbour’s son and a driller, was home due to the economic slowdown. He continually amazed me with his quick sense of what needed to be done and his ability and desire to work hard. And I still haven’t figured out the answer to his last riddle.
Alan Moes often came by after his work as grader operator for the county was done and sat on a combine or truck. He was there to help us finish last night. Alan used to farm and loves to be part of the harvest. Michael’s Dad Ken was often there to lend a hand for repairs.
Then there’s Loren himself. Loren never got excited when one more person came home with a machine that didn’t work – Beat got excited enough for both of them. The poor guy was so frustrated one day when the baler broke down the third time. Loren reminded him that it was only a machine, and they only break when they’re being used.
Loren and I spent countless hours on the radio discussing farming, God and life in general while combining together on those many acres.
I learned to do things I didn’t think I could – combine green lodged grain without plugging too much, unplug, and back the combine up a narrow farm lane. There was no discussion – Loren just expected me to be able to do it and I did.
It was a good season – both for the farm and for me. I love combining! But I am glad it’s over for the year.