Harvest of crops now in full swing

It is amazing how much a week can change the look of a community.
Two weeks prior to the opening of the Calgary Stampede, the city and the Stampede grounds were awash in water and mud. Yet through the perseverance of the city, its people and its friends, the community is now pulling off the “The World’s Greatest Outdoor Show.”
In little more than two weeks, the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship will be unveiling the best bass tournament in Canada through the support and efforts of countless volunteers. Fort Frances will be transformed.
The season is unfolding.
Travelling in and out of Winnipeg this week, there has been a remarkable change in the fields along the route through Warroad and Steinbach.
On July 1, the fields were thick with standing grass. Buttercups and daisies blanketed the fields in their wild splendour.
Canola crops were just starting to bud into flower. Newly-planted fields were just breaking through the ground in parts of southern Manitoba.
Returning home Friday, many of those same hay fields had already been cut and baled.
Large round bales were waiting to be picked up and moved to storage.
In several fields two or more balers were moving up and down the windrows of fresh cut and turned hay.
The smell of fresh hay hung in the air as you drove by those pastures.
In other fields, farmers were busy with their mower conditioners readying the growing hay for baling.
Those new plants that were no more than rows of shoots four days earlier had jumped by inches.
Around the Trans Canada at Steinbach, one could look out across a sea of canola in bloom. The vibrant yellow flowers could be gazed on as far as the eye could see. Some fields of corn were already waist high.
Fields of barley, oats and wheat were brilliant green and almost knee high.
Kim Cornell remarked to me several years ago, in a period of a cold, damp weather in late June when many farmers were complaining that they wouldn’t be able to get on their fields until mid-July to harvest hay, that the weather always broke and there was always a period when the first cut would be harvested.
I thought about his comments as I drove along and saw all the equipment in the fields harvesting crops.
From my untrained eye, the quality of the hay looks great.
The harvest of crops is in full swing.
Fresh locally-grown produce is being sold in stores and at the farmers’ market. Saturday night we enjoyed fresh beets and beet greens.
We wait for a long period of time to enjoy the freshness of freshly-picked, locally-grown vegetables.

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