Alexandria farmer says his farm is “doing great” despite drought conditions
By Lynn Macnab
Maurice Jeaurond doesn't understand what all the hype is about.
His farm just east of Alexandria is prospering despite Level 2 drought conditions in place across eastern Ontario.
Jeaurond's oats are as good as ever, he says, and the straw is already sold even though he's still in the process of harvesting.
But Jeaurond harvests differently than other area farmers.
Using an old binder that looks like it should be in a museum and a well-preserved 1952 John Deere tractor, he hasn't quite reached the agricultural big time.
"The binder (John Deere as well) was probably built around 1940," he says. "It works great!" What impresses him most about using old equipment is that it's so simple to maintain.
"When something breaks down, I can usually fix it. And the design of some of this machinery is truly impressive."
As his oat harvest begins, people take note of this unusual farm.
Passersby won't see massive combines and tractor trailers in the field. They won't hear the sound of big engines either.
What they see as they travel along Glen Robertson Road is a little green tractor chugging along in a slow, peaceful kind of way. The sound of gears and pulleys clunk-clunking are music to the ears. And the sight of people out in the field laughing while they work is intriguing.
"Many people stop," Jeaurond states. "They see that something is different and they're interested. Some even get out and help!"
He usually throws a bit of a party when the work is done, to sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of his labour.
Of course, it's not over yet. The oats still have to be picked from the field and carted to the thrashing machine where the straw and grain will be separated.
In true Jeaurond style, that job will be done on a thrasher that is as old, if not older than the binder, but, the farmer says, "It works great!"
So great in fact, that he'll be demonstrating his ancient thrashing at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum during the Harvest Festival on September 16.
If you're driving by this farm sometime in the next couple of weeks, slow down and take a look. You'll probably see a bountiful field of stoked oats untouched by the drought and a little green tractor being driven by a very happy farmer in an old straw hat.