Much to be thankful for — 2020 harvest completed

Eppich News: Except for the moose that keep breaking fences

After the inch and a half of rain on Sept. 20, we were harvesting dry barley again by late afternoon Sept. 23. In the morning I went down to Danny and Sheila Roths and brought home the last two mares and foals.

The next morning, our neighbour Lynn Heltman called to let us know that the fence was down and one mare was out. Gregory went quickly to look and saw a cow moose with her calf that had gone through the fence in the field north of us. He caught the mare and put her back in the pasture with her foal and the other horses. He did a quick look and could not find the two mares and foals that I had brought home the previous day. He came back home and got the post pounder truck, as there were three broken posts, and told me about the missing mares. I went out to look and I couldn’t find them either.

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We were just about to start to a big search when Gregory spotted them behind a bush on the quarter north of us. I got John and a halter and we caught the mares to lead them home. That’s when I discovered that the one of the fillies had been cut by the wire on her shoulder. This was the third time this fall that we have fixed fence behind the moose.

On Sept. 26 there was just a little bit of rain but it was enough to stop the combines. A couple of days later we got going again on John’s wheat. We decided to take it off a little tough because it is along a lake and the geese were starting to move in.

On Oct. 4 we went to mass and then hauled a load of ditch bales home from Landis before going out to combine. Due to the cooler weather and the damp mornings it took us until Oct. 7 to finish up the last field in Handel.

The next day I took James into North Battleford for his seven-month checkup. He is growing well and very active! Meanwhile, Gregory was getting everything ready so that we could take the three combines over to Landis — it takes over an hour. Thanks to the lack of dew, it was the earliest start we had for quite a while and it made a big difference. Unfortunately, Grandpa Barney’s combine started having trouble with the transmission and he had to take it home just before dark. The canvas on Gregory’s swather also ripped beyond the capabilities of field repair, and so a mere five acres of John’s barley was left standing. That night it rained

All that was left of harvest was the few acres of barley and John’s pea field. By Oct. 10 Gregory had the equipment ready and the peas were dry so he spent all day with one combine with the flex header working on the peas and John did the trucking. Meanwhile, I was baling the neighbour’s flax straw for bedding this winter.

After mass on Oct. 11, Joseph and James helped me make pumpkin and cherry pies for Thanksgiving supper that evening at John and Barb’s house. The next day we finished the peas, and with that the harvest for 2020. We have so much to be thankful for!

About the author

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Heather Eppich is a young former Idaho rancher building a new farm and family with her husband and young son, near Handel, Sask. Contact her at: [email protected]

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