Suc­cess­ful har­vest at new lo­ca­tion con­tin­ues to sup­port Rock Solid Refuge

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - FALL AUCTION GUIDE - By Matthew Lieben­berg mlieben­[email protected]­

The Har­vest for Hope’s first sea­son at a new lo­ca­tion came to a suc­cess­ful end on Aug. 30, when farm­ers helped to gather a crop of green lentils in sup­port of Rock Solid Refuge.

This an­nual crop fundraiser has be­come an im­por­tant source of in­come for the non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion dur­ing the pre­vi­ous six years.

For Rock Solid Refuge Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Dal­las Block the har­vest­ing of the crop is al­ways a joy­ful day.

“It’s been a great day al­ready as the crop comes off for our sev­enth an­nual Har­vest for Hope here for Rock Solid Refuge,” he said while the com­bines were out in the field. “We’re just re­ally ex­cited again this year with all the par­tic­i­pa­tion from farm­ers and from com­pa­nies and or­ga­ni­za­tions that re­ally want to see funds raised for the work that Rock Solid Refuge does.”

Farm­ers and their fam­i­lies en­joyed a burger lunch be­fore the start of the har­vest, and Block said it was great to feel the ca­ma­raderie and the sup­port for the project in the area.

“We found that south­west Saskatchew­an just is a real gen­er­ous pocket of peo­ple on all lev­els,” he men­tioned.

There were five com­bines out on the land dur­ing the har­vest, and farm­ers brought four trucks and a grain cart to get the crop off.

This crop fundraiser was pre­vi­ously lo­cated on 120 acres of land next to High­way No. 4 south of Swift Cur­rent that was owned by Wen­dell and Wendy Patzer, but they sold the land af­ter last year’s har­vest. The Sogn Fam­ily Foun­da­tion in Shau­navon de­cided to pur­chase 160 acres of land near Rhineland and to make it avail­able to the Har­vest for Hope ini­tia­tive.

“The farm­ers that have been in­volved re­ally wanted the project to keep go­ing, and so the Sogn Foun­da­tion made the de­ci­sion to pur­chase the land for that pur­pose,” Block said.

This crop fundraiser has be­come an im­por­tant source of in­come for Rock Solid Refuge and there was some con­cern over the fu­ture of the ini­tia­tive be­fore the new land be­came avail­able.

“It’s an im­por­tant project and so we won­dered,” he said. “The land sold and then pretty much at the same time, I heard ru­mour that this might hap­pen. We’re a faith or­ga­ni­za­tion. So we prayed and we were hop­ing that this would be able to come through and it did, and we con­tinue to be very blessed by it.”

The new site will pro­vide the project with cer­tainty for the fu­ture, and it will also ben­e­fit from the larger size of the land.

“It’s been one of our most im­por­tant fundrais­ers of the year where a pretty good chunk of money comes in at one time, and re­ally that’s go­ing to ac­tu­ally in­crease sig­nif­i­cantly with it be­ing a full quar­ter sec­tion,” he said. “There’s ac­tu­ally a few less ex­penses here as well, and so we’re re­ally ex­cited. It’s been a great ben­e­fit to us.”

The first crop on this land was a suc­cess with a yield of 32 bushels per acre on the green lentils.

“The heavy rains in June made a lit­tle bit of it flooded out and so not the best yield right next to the road,” he noted.

The funds raised from this har­vest will as­sist the ac­tiv­i­ties at the Rock Solid Refuge cam­pus on a 60 acre prop­erty north­east of Shau­navon.

Rock Solid Refuge of­fers a 12-month res­i­den­tial pro­gram for male youth be­tween the ages of 13 and 18 who are strug­gling with life con­trol­ling is­sues such as addictions and be­havioural chal­lenges.

“Over the last year we had an av­er­age of eight to 10 stu­dents at any given time, and it will be prob­a­bly about seven to eight stu­dents over this win­ter that we’ll have in the pro­gram,” he noted.

“They’re com­ing to us from lots of dif­fer­ent ar­eas, as far away as Ot­tawa ac­tu­ally. Most of them though in the prairie prov­inces that are with us right now.”

Pho­tos by Matthew Lieben­berg

HAR­VEST FOR HOPE: ABOVE: Farm­ers com­bine the green lentils crop for the Har­vest for Hope fundraiser, Aug. 30. BE­LOW: A grain cart picks up a load while the com­bines con­tinue their work dur­ing the har­vest­ing of a green lentils crop to raise funds for Rock Solid Refuge, Aug. 30.

Pho­tos by Matthew Lieben­berg

A com­bines emp­ties its load into a grain cart dur­ing the har­vest­ing of the green lentils crop for Rock Solid Refuge, Aug. 30.

The Har­vest for Hope sign­board at the crop fundraiser's new lo­ca­tion near Rhineland, which is south­east of Swift Cur­rent.

Com­bines in the field dur­ing the har­vest­ing of the green lentils crop to raise funds for Rock Solid Refuge, Aug. 30.

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