Growing projects across Canada in ‘full force’ harvest mode

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Picture Butte & Area Growing Project harvested 147 acres of barley with 20 combines in 45 minutes this year. (Photo: Adrian Moens)

It’s mid-way through harvest season for growing projects across Canada raising funds for Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

In Ontario, “The winter wheat harvest is complete and the soybean and corn crops will likely be harvested September through November,” says Dave Epp, Foodgrains Bank regional representative in that province.

Ontario is home to over 100 growing projects spread across the province. Harvest conditions can vary widely.

This year, some projects in the eastern part of the province received up to five times more rain than usual, while projects in other regions had less rainfall than usual.

The Jubilee Acres Growing Project in the southern part of the province  is one project that had a tough time due to rain.

“The members of the Jubilee Acres project waited for one of the few dry days this summer to harvest their 11 acres of white wheat,” says Epp.

“It’s incredible how committed our supporters are, particularly at this very busy time of year,” adds Epp. “It speaks to just how committed so many farmers are toward helping people who are hungry overseas.”

And further east, in Atlantic Canada, harvest season is off to a good start.

“Winter wheat harvest was two weeks ago, and we’re just getting into barley,” says Ian MacHattie, regional coordinator in Nova Scotia. “We’ve had good rain, good heat – it’s been good all around.”

In Manitoba, the harvest of cereal grains, which include wheat, oats and barley, is in “full force,” says Harold Penner, Foodgrains Bank regional representative in Manitoba.

“Earlier this week, the Acres of Hope growing project in Rivers harvested 150 acres of wheat,” says Penner. “They had eight combines going and were done in an hour and a half.”

Many of the volunteers who helped harvest in Rivers went home to harvest their own crops that same day, says Penner.

“It’s dedicated people willing to help even in busy times who make it possible for the Foodgrains Bank to provide food where it’s so desperately needed,” he adds.

Dry weather has affected much of southern Alberta this year, but Andre Visscher, who represents the Foodgrains Bank in the region, isn’t concerned.

“We didn’t get the rain, but nobody is complaining. It’s farming right? It’s a bit disappointing, but we know that can happen.”

He notes that in Picture Butte, 20 combines harvested 147 acres of barley in 45 minutes, and in Taber, 12 combines brought in 155 acres of wheat in under two hours.

Next door in Saskatchewan, harvest is just gearing up. As of right now, two growing projects have been harvested.

“Until the crop is taken off it’s hard to tell how successful it will be,” says Saskatchewan regional representative Rick Block. “But whether it’s a bumper crop or an average one, each growing project is making a difference in the lives of people overseas.”

To stay up to date with growing project harvests across the country, go to our Facebook page. Involved with a growing project or a church/community project? Send your photos communications@foodgrainsbank.ca to share with other Foodgrains Bank supporters.

–Shaylyn McMahon, communications assistant