We descended on the Bar U Ranch Friday evening so that we could get an early start Saturday morning. All the usual suspects were there and more would arrive Saturday morning. We unloaded the binders and the horses and made a round with each to make sure that knotters were knotting, reels were reeling and cutters were cutting. Saturday morning arrived bright and warm in spite of the smokey haze from the forest fires south of the border.
We got the horses harnessed and after munching down some mighty tasty breakfast sandwiches prepared and delivered to us in the field by Faye Sundquist, we hooked up and were underway. We had the best turnout of stookers ever and they fairly pounced on the bundles almost before they were off the binders. At midday, we took a break to make and sample some mighty fine horse-made ice cream and then tuck into some equally fine stew and chili made by Peggy Kopjar. After lunch the binding and stooking resumed. Not including the break it took a mere two hours and twenty minutes to bind and stook the 15 acres of barley. The crop is destined for Eau Claire Distillery where it will be used to make some fine single malt whiskey. Eau Claire staff was on site to lend a hand and to provide bottled water, fresh fruit and vegetables to those toiling in the field.
While it’s pretty much impossible to thank all who attended our Harvest Day, we would like to extend a special thanks to Joe Jeffray and Bret Fulford for bringing their binders for without them this could have easily turned into a two day event. The next gathering will be on Saturday, September 12th when the usual suspects will once again descend on the Bar U Ranch to thrash the barley. Rumor has it it that it could yield 60 bushels an acre. Stay tuned for details.