When there’s a field of dreams, there’s a harvest to be had.
And it seems a family that threshes together – stays together.
Locally the Bellamy and Griffen families are keeping tradition alive with an annual threshing bee.
Recently one was held at the Bellamy Farm along County Road 19 between Fergus and Belwood.
Now in its 10th year, the event draws people from far and wide.
Jim Bellamy and his uncle, Bob Bellamy, were there in the beginning.
Jim Bellamy said the first threshing bee was held at the Gary Griffen’s property on the Fifth Line of West Garafraxa – just up the road.
“He just had it the one year and we took our threshing machines there – along with our Old Favourite.”
“My dad was living at the time, and he decided we should have it here. So it’s been here for eight years, and one year in Belwood.”
Bob Bellamy added that the family had an old separator on the farm here so we decided we’d have a fun day.
“But what really started it was that they had the separator in an anniversary parade in Belwood, and that gave us the idea.”
Jim said that while that got that idea in place, “We decided we’d better raise money and donate it the hospital. We did that for five years, and for the past four years, donations have gone to support the local fire department.”
And it’s an event that has grown over the years.
“It’s gotten bigger all the time,” says Bob.
“They’re coming from farther away all the time.”
Jim noted participants have come from Cambridge, Erin, Hillsburgh, and Elmira.
Even so, some of them return year after year.
“And the people, they’re coming from Hanover, Toronto and Kitchener just to watch it.”
Jim attributed some of that attendance to good weather.
“But we also put on a good meal here. For the ticket a person gets pork, beef, corn, pie, cakes, butter tarts – just like at a regular threshing bee,” he chuckled.
And while it was perfect weather for this year’s event, Bob added “we’ve never been rained out yet.”
When asked how much effort was involved, both chuckled in unison, “A lot.”
Jim explained there’s about a week’s worth of work both before and after the event.
Bob added there’s a lot of work to put it together and to take it apart.
But there’s more than just the threshing at the Bellamy-Griffen event.
In addition to the threshing machines, there is a tractor-powered sawmill, stone crusher, antique tractor displays, and a miniature baler.
On top of that, there’s a tractor pull near the back of the property.
At the end of the day, it seems there’s something for the young at heart and those wanting to relive memories of yesteryear.