Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Playing Farmer for a Day

Grain elevator -  Star, Alberta (approx. 40 minutes east of Edmonton, Alberta)
So, what is with this story, you wonder?  Well,  I had to play farmer for a day to help my father in law haul some No. 1 wheat to the grain elevator.  Above is a photo of his grain truck parked near the exit after we dumped the load.
This is where we started.  We moved the grain auger into place.

Jeanette checks in on her dad.

They examine the quality - No. 1 wheat it is!!!
Once we had the grain auger near the granary, the wheat inspected, and the way cleared, we began the process of backing up the grain truck, adjusting the auger and setting it in place, getting shovels at the ready, and beginning the loading process.
There are easier methods to load grain but this system sure makes life easier.

The man in orange - with the shovel - is me.

With the truck loaded and the tarp secured we prepared for the one hour drive to the grain elevator.
Because my father in law no longer farms (he rents the land to other farmers nearby), he had wanted to sell the last bit of No. 1 seed wheat in one of his old granaries.  That's where I came in.  He needed someone to shovel wheat, place the auger, place the tarp and drive the truck.
Following a bite of lunch, we hopped into the truck and headed off.

I'm the driver but the boss chose to come along to provide direction and guidance.

Once arrived at the grain elevator, I jumped out of the truck, stepped into the office and immediately admitted that I was a 'newbie'.  Once the laughter had abated, two good fellas gave me the scoop on what to do.

You can see the truck in the depths of the elevator.  We're soon to dump the load.  I had to do a quick run to get this photo.

Once unloaded I drove the truck out while my father in law went to the office to collect his winnings.....ah.... I mean his cheque.  The wheat was graded and because it was 'seed wheat', he got the best price per bushel.  He was a very happy farmer that day.  

With the cheque in hand, we were ready to head back to his farm.

This is quite likely the last time Jeanette's dad, John, will take a load of grain to an elevator.  At age 86, he no longer seeds or harvests his land.  It's rented now.
 Come to think of it, this is the first and, quite likely, the last time I will load, shovel and unload wheat in my lifetime.
John provides directions to leave the grain elevator and directs me to the highway of choice for the return drive back to his farm.

Nearing his farm.  I wonder if John got nervous when I held the truck steering wheel with one hand while taking this photo with the other hand.  If he was nervous it didn't show.

Just a nice country road adjoining the farm.
So, that's how I got to play farmer for one day....well....more or less for 2/3rds of one day.

I kind of wanted to say something about the sorry excuse for an NHL Hockey Game last evening but what is there to say that hasn't been said!!!!  I sure hope the Canucks come to play this Wednesday night in Boston.

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. a great 'farming day' for you to experience!...now as for that sad excuse of a hockey game..I kept telling Doug to turn it off..I can't take it anymore!..we can only hope that tomorrow will have a better outcome!

  2. Thanks for a very interesting blog and pictures, Rene. It's amazing to me see how spry and active Jeanette's Dad is at 86. Great to see he was happy with his day's 'winnings' too - he deserves it!

  3. Great post. I grew up on a farm and obviously your dad still loves it!

  4. Thanks for all the hard work on the comments......I will see if this one goes through....

  5. It went threw ok, but it did make me sign in again with password and all,,,,,lets see if it does the same this time...How did you make out on mine?

  6. Now that time it went right threw without me signing in....Its OK now! good work!!

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