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PHOTO ESSAY: Threshing Bee a nod to farm life of old

On a late August day, a live demonstration of farm work of old was on display at the farm of Leo Gooch. Leo farms a quarter section of land south of Arrowwood (in Vulcan County, 60 km east of Okotoks) partly with horses and equipment in common use on the prairies in the early part of the last century. Friends and neighbors came to help, some to stook the sheaves that were cut and bound by the horse-drawn John Deere binder, others to fork the sheaves onto the horse-drawn bundle racks. 

When full, the bundle racks were hauled to the McCormick threshing machine where the sheaves were loaded into its feeder.  Leo used two antique tractors to power the threshing machine during the day--a 1928 McCormick Deering gasoline tractor and a 1927 Rumely Oil Pull 3060 Model S.

This is the tenth year Leo has held his threshing bee. It’s a remarkable demonstration of how people once farmed on the prairies, how important labour was in the harvesting of crops, and of the tremendous strides made in the development of farming equipment since the days of threshing machines.