Farm families in Saskatchewan bond over field lunches

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WATCH ABOVE: Harvest field lunches are a way of life for many Saskatchewan farm families, one the Martin-Kelly family has been doing for over 30 years – Sep 21, 2018

It’s been a way of harvest life for many Saskatchewan farm families, sharing lunch out in the field.

For the Martin-Kelly family, they have been doing this for over 30 years,

With harvest time underway, extra hands have been hired to help pull in the crops and that means extra mouths to feed.

READ MORE: Weather stalls harvest in Saskatchewan

Getting those meals ready rests on the matriarch of the family, Darlene Martin. Her day starts bright and early on her family farm near Watrous, Sask.

Darlene likes to make fresh, healthy and homemade food for the crew of 12 helping out this year.

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For lunch she likes to make them all individually packed sandwiches, veggie snacks (fresh from her garden of course) and a little sweet something for dessert.

On this day she made sub sandwiches and tried a new recipe for dessert from Trisha Yearwood, a yummy zucchini, coconut, cherry bread.

Darlene confesses coming up with new recipes and ideas is the hardest part of the job and that she is constantly thinking about food.

She likes to have her menu prepped a day in advance, especially when it comes to making the more elaborate hot supper meal. Her slow cooker doesn’t get a break in harvest season.

READ MORE: Holistic farms becoming more popular in Saskatchewan

Darlene’s daughter Lesley Kelly steps in once the meals are packaged up and ready to roll.

The lunches are loaded in her vehicle and she begins the search for the crew. This can be challenging on some days because the directions can be a little vague, “you know, where that tree used to be but now isn’t, that’s where you will find us”. Got it!

With ease she knows exactly where her husband, Matt Kelly, and the hungry crew are working. They all settle in for lunch together and for Matt and Leslie, it is precious time together.

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Harvest time is notorious for its long, grueling hours and this year, due to the early harvest, it was happening right around back-to-school time.

Field lunches offers the family to connect, check in on their mental health and to keep each other up to speed on what is going with their growing family.

READ MORE: Lanigan area farmers till same soil for more than a century

The Kelly’s are the parents to two young boys and it is over these field meals the family are able to visit with each other, share their stories and pass on this unique farming tradition.

Matt firmly believes “food just tastes better in the field with your family,” and it’s a sentiment shared by the entire family.

For the Kelly’s, harvest season is about reaping the rewards of a long growing season, working long, hard hours and working as a team.

The end of harvest season for the entire Martin-Kelly clan marks the end of a long, productive growing season, but more importantly, it also marks the end of sandwich season – please, no more sandwiches!

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