Grain cut with ‘header’

From our April 2012 issue

By M.S. McKinney – Kamloops, B.C.

We had a very poor crop in 1937. It was so short and thin we couldn’t harvest with binders so they used what was called a ‘header’. It cut the grain close to the ground and it was elevated up into a box on wheels.

Us kids would ride in the box and tramp the grain down. There was just enough straw to bind. When the box was full, the tramped grain slid out of the back end of the box in little stacks.

When the threshing machine came, it had a long feeder that was close to the ground and these stacks were hauled to the machine by a ‘sweep’.

The sweep had long teeth and was maybe 10-feet wide with a team of horses on each side so they could straddle the stack. The teeth would slide under and away they’d go to the machine.

The farmers didn’t have to buy twine that year and there were no stookers. I think it threshed three to five bushels to the acre. They hardly got their seed back that winter.

The government gave cod fish, apples, cheese, canned fish, and salted herring to the fanners in our district and many more across the prairies.

The cod fish was salted and came in large slabs. I was only 11 but can sure remember that year and how the stock suffered.