Harvest marks 10th year for Killarney Growing Project

Record lunch guests flock to Foodgrains Bank harvest


More than 350 hungry guests lined up in the lunchtime sunshine on Tuesday, August 14, to dine alfresco in an open field, and watch a special crop come in.

It was threshing day for a 160-acre field of red spring wheat, swathed next to Highway 3 east of Killarney, with the crop proceeds destined for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, to help feed a hungry world.

“We’ve got 23 combines so far, and we are hoping for 30,” said field manager for the Killarney Growing Project, Myron Peters. “Lots of people are out harvesting right now, and can’t make it. More could still turn up.”

Lloyd Jersak, food coordinator for the event, said there was a mountain of tasty dishes being laid out under the tent for the rapidly gathering crowd.

“Willow Creek Colony has donated the main course, pulled pork, with fresh rolls, pickles and coleslaw, and Holmfield Colony has brought the desserts and coffee,” he said. “They donate everything. It’s wonderful. And Mayfair Colony has brought straw bales for people to sit on, the picnic supplies, tables, buckets, and water.”

Gordon Janzen, new regional representative for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in Manitoba, told the assembled crowd that the Killarney Growing Project had definitely made their mark on the map when it came to enthusiasm.

“Of the 40 growing projects across Manitoba, this is probably the largest one,” he said. “It’s really a tribute to the organizers in the community, and to all the volunteers who make this happen. This work is really important to the programs and projects of the Foodgrains Bank, and its agencies, working to stop hunger in the world.”

Volunteer Betty Turner said that by the end of the day they had ‘sold’ 151 of the 160 acres, for $250 each – covering the cost of inputs for those acres.

“Plus there were lots of donations in our bucket,” she added. “And we silent auctioned our 2017 harvest photo print for $225, to Dale and Margie Foote. It was awesome. It’s our tenth year of growing a crop for the Foodgrains, so we are really thrilled so many people came to celebrate with us.”

The 1 p.m. harvest, conducted by a wide, carefully spaced row of 24 huge combines – plus a much smaller antique Massey Ferguson rig, driven by Alan Melvin of Mather into some smaller swaths – took just around an hour to complete.

Reported yield on the field was 10,312 bushels of Brandon wheat, which was unloaded into grain carts, and then trucked straight over to the local TLA elevator, said Turner.

Once the crop is sold, the Growing Project members will know its financial value, Turner added.

KILLARNEY GROWING PROJECT VOLUNTEERS BRING IN THE CROP – Field manager Myron Peters and his daughter Stephanie Peters (left) watch from his ATV on Tuesday afternoon, as 24 massive combines move steadily westwards, and their operators combine the swathed crop of spring wheat for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. But, first on the agenda, everyone needed to be fed (below).


COMBINE DRIVERS UP FIRST – Some 350 people enjoyed a wonderful lunch prepared and generously donated by members of three local Hutterite Colonies, during last Tuesday’s Lunch in the Field on Hwy. 3. Combine drivers ate first, before mounting their machines and harvesting a 160-acre crop of wheat to benefit the Canadian Foodgrains Bank charity. Nearly $900 was collected in the lunch and misc. donations bucket at the event.

A BEAUTIFUL DAY OUT FOR A HARVEST – Young members of a Hutterite Colony watch from the roadside, as combines roll by and unload their wheat into a grain cart, during Tuesday’s harvest by the Killarney Growing Project volunteers. The crop yielded 10,312 bushels of spring wheat.

ROOM FOR THE LITTLE GUY – A little swath of wheat was prepared for the antique Massey Ferguson rig, driven by Alan Melvin of Mather. Including the old antique, 26 combines were poised to take part in the harvest, with one of the big machines breaking down at the start.



See Brian Archibald’s 2018 Canadian Foodgrains Bank Killarney harvest video below.