Members of the Ponoka Community Growing Project are hoping the dusting of snow forecast for Tuesday morning is wrong.
Project co-ordinator Peter Doornenbal said harvesting at the 150-acre canola field for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is set for Tuesday afternoon — weather permitting.
“The crop looks good, but you’ve got to get it off. We didn’t dare keep it in the field any longer. The days are getting shorter and it’s getting colder,” Doornenbal said.
He said harvest was already delayed by about two weeks because farmers were still busy clearing their own fields.
“It’s a crazy year for the weather. If you’ve got to do half of your own field, it’s pretty difficult to come.”
He said most farmers are now close to finishing their own fields, so they can come and help out at the community project.
It’s the 21st year the Ponoka project has planted a crop to assist the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a Christian-based organization based out of Winnipeg that provides international food assistance. Money raised from the crop is matched four to one by the federal government.
More than 200 projects across Canada contribute about half of the donations received by the Foodgrains Bank. In 2018-19, the bank helped feed more than 800,000 people in 36 countries.
A new field was used this year by the Ponoka project, located about 9.5 kilometres north of Ponoka Composite High School on the east side of Range Road 254.
The harvest kicks off with a community lunch at the field at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Everyone is invited.
Doornenbal said five or six combines will be on the field for sure, and maybe a few more will show up.
“If you’ve got eight or nine combines, in two hours we’re done. Combines get it done in no time.”