Field burning (5)As the weather gets steadily warmer, farm activity across the province steadily increases in anticipation of imminent spring planting. I find myself learning something new and interesting around every other day (on average) – this week, we had to clean and check a discer (a type of tractor-towed seeder) and shift some grain (oats and barely) about using shovels and an auger. I was also given quick tutorials on how to drive the farm quad and one of the tractors, immediately qualifying me for non-crucial seeding and transport operations.

The big news in the community this week – if local gossip is to be believed – was the perhaps-imprudent burning of some grass verges bordering access roads. Farmers will often set fires to inexpensively remove ground cover, and a couple of these had just started to creep out of hand. Springing into action, we put the smaller fires that had crossed the road out and then burned some fire breaks downwind of the main fire so that it would run out of fuel before getting into a populated area. This action apparently sent a gigantic plume of smoke straight to Winnipeg and forced a road closure, though it almost certainly won’t be the last grass fire of the season.

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