By Lisa Stahl
by Lisa Stahl
The Havre Daily News
Friday, May 14
Farming is an occupation Hutterite colonies have been involved with since they first became a recognized sect. It is still strongly practiced today.
Seeding for this season didnt start until the last part of April at our farm. The men didnt want to start seeding, until we had received more moisture. So after the welcoming rain on the 21st had dried up, they eagerly ventured out in the field.
In the previous month the men were busy getting the equipment fixed up. They made a few changes this year, such as enlarging their seven-inch augers on the seeding cart to ten-inch augers.
This project took about a week and by April they were already eager to try out the new augers. The reason for the change was to quicken the time taken to refill the seed and fertilizer cart.
Seeding time is just as busy for the women as it is for the men. The cooks have to work around a 24-hour schedule, because the men are seeding day and night.
There are two shifts. The day time shift is 11 hours, while the night shift is 13 hours. The first shift switches in the morning at seven. Both shifts eat breakfast then. The guys day time shift lasts until around 5:30 to 6 p.m. when they quit to come home for supper and the other set of guys take over.
The cooks prepare a lunch sometime that morning for the guys working on the day shift. As for the guys who run the night shift, they take their lunch with them when they switch.
The cooks try planning meals which will be easily eaten on the go, mostly in sandwich style. They get to eat a lot of hamburgers, submarines, chicken, turkey and beef sandwiches.
Each colony has an elder whos selected to be the field boss. The field boss is in charge of appointing the men their jobs, such as wholl drive the seed tractors and the semi they use to fill up. He also has to see to who will run the sprayers and water truck. Of course, since they are seeding day and night he has to make sure two different sets of guys are available to share the shifts.
Seeding usually lasts for two to three weeks, if the guys can go day and night with no interruptions. Its dragged out if it rains or they get a breakdown.
I just love the time of spring when you look out at the field to see an endless stretch of green. But watching it grow, change colors and mature throughout the summer is just as enjoying.