The work ethic was ingrained years ago into even the youngest of children. The duty of work was presented as a privilege to young children carrying refreshment to the threshers.
These men are threshing with steam power right in the field rather than processing the crop in the barn. In my thirty-five years of closely observing the traditional Mennonites, I have only once seen this sight. Now even with the most orthodox of Mennonite or Amish groups, the barn is the location for the threshing machine.
Several years ago I painted a still earlier approach to threshing where horses on a windlass provided power for the separating of wheat and chaff, Horse Sweep Image #1107, so Harvest Heritage, which was partially painted in public at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto in 1995, provides a somewhat more modern approach to threshing.
A local company, The Waterloo Manufacturing Company, produced a steam tractor, like this, one hundred years ago. It seemed a natural to use it in a painting, part of which would be used for a poster. The poster publicized an event at the Ontario Agricultural Museum in Milton. I was the artist-in-residence at this country-life museum. The painting was then purchased by a local Waterloo insurance company. They have since commissioned another large painting that I painted in public at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto November 2 – 16, 1996. See New Beginning Image #1971.