Preparations made for annual Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Show

 

By Jolene Perron

 

In the bright sunshine Saturday, members of the board of directors for the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show were out in a wheat field on Concession 5 North cutting wheat in a 1900s style machine.

One of the club’s members allows the group to cut approximately two acres of wheat from his field using their old-fashioned machine, which president Gary Struhar explained allows them to demonstrate how farming was done in the 1900s.

Members of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show farmed approximately two acres of wheat Saturday afternoon on the 5th concession in preparation for their show Aug. 11-13 at Co-An Park.

Members of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show farmed approximately two acres of wheat Saturday afternoon on the 5th concession in preparation for their show Aug. 11-13 at Co-An Park.

“This cuts it, and ties it into a 12-inch bundle,” said Stuhar. “Then they just take the bundles, put them on a wagon and bring them into the barns. The next generation after this was in the late 20s, which was the combine, where they cut it and thresh it. What we’re doing here is we’re cutting it, it’s going to spit out the spokes of straw, and then we’re going to put them up and put them on a wagon and put them in the barn. During the show we have a threshing machine, which takes the straw, oats or wheat, and it separates the seeds from the remainder, which is used for straw. We bale that up and use it for cows for bedding, and wheat is used for seed or for flour, stuff like that. Back in the day, everybody had to save their stuff to make bread if they wanted. The stores weren’t very plentiful. Out on the farm, you self-sustained everything.”

Member of the board of directors, Francis Orelens explained at the show after the wheat is threshed, and before the straw is bundled, they leave the straw in a pile.

“At the show, we will thresh it out with an old saw threshing machine and the grain goes one way into the bin, and the straw goes into a straw pile,” said Orelens. “We make a straw pile for the kids and we put tokens in there and they have a lot of fun finding the tokens, which they can them redeem at the show.”

Members of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show farmed approximately two acres of wheat Saturday afternoon on the 5th concession in preparation for their show August 11, 12 and 13 at Co-An Park.

Members of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show farmed approximately two acres of wheat Saturday afternoon on the 5th concession in preparation for their show August 11, 12 and 13 at Co-An Park.

Owner of the threshing machine and vice president of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Show Morris Kurzuk said when he came from Saskatchewan at 19-years-old, he brought his farming background with him. He and his family used to own a binder much like the machine they still use today, and he loves it because the farming he grew up with stays with him. He will be celebrating his 82nd birthday on the final day of the show.

The 33rd annual show will be held Aug. 11-13 at Co-An Park in McGregor and will feature International tractors and machinery. It will cost $6 for adults, $2 for children 6-12 and children under 6 will be free. They will also be selling 3-day passes for $12. And don’t forget about the parade on Saturday at 9 a.m., beginning at St. Clement’s Church parking lot along Walker Road, down Concession 11 to Co-An Park.

New to the show this year will be entertainment by Frank Cross, an Elvis Tribute on Saturday after their traditional chicken and rib dinner.

For more information about the festival, visit www.essexsteamandgasengine.com.

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