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|Stooking in Alberta,
By Ida L. Wright, Alberta
Hi, Although subject seems to have changed, I just
had to send you these. I am the little girl, so that
would have been late 30s. One of my jobs was to take
lunch out to the "stookers". My ankles used
to get cut up from the stubble and the thistles but
I did have to wear dresses in those days. Sandwiches
were most of the time baloney and there was always
good strong coffee. I didn't stook but I tried to
pretend I did in the photo and could only find a leather
mitt to put on as all the gloves were in use.
The grain was cut with a binder, stooked and then
the threshing crew went from farm to farm. The farm
wife had to feed the crew while they were on site.
The straw was blown into huge piles in the middle
of the field and provided feed and shelter for the
cattle and horses which were allowed on the fields
Three of the boys are my brothers, one is part of
the crew and the little one is a neighbour kid who
helped me carry the lunch My parents were from Tarutino.
These are fond memories for me and I commissioned
a local artist for an oil painting of stooks and as
they were a thing of the past in these days of combines,
she did a credible job.
Feeding the crews was stressful for some ladies and
my mother told me about one farm wife who always literally
got sick to the stomach when they came although she
still managed to do her job. The stooks were gathered
into hay ricks pulled by horses then driven to the
thresher. Sometimes this would disturb baby rabbits
and mice who had nested in the stooks.
In the spring, the cows still being on the fields,
they would find the first spring growth which of course
was stink weed. How often I nearly gagged when trying
to eat my oatmeal with smelly milk.
It was no doubt hard labour but for me just fond
to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested
by contacting Michael