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A Journey Through Alberta Countryside with Khaled Novel

We live in the cities. We understand the cities. We are comfortable in the cities. A step outside of the hustle and bustle of the cities lies the most astonishingly beautiful rural area which other than its beauty produces a lot of our daily food. How much do we know about that? Very little, unless you are either an Agro Economist or a very curious person. Since I am neither, I partnered with Khaled Novel in an adventure which hopefully isn't the last.

A goal of mine starting this summer has been to explore the beauty of Alberta countryside. I have been going out and taking pictures which is featured in two of the Blogs here. Feel free to enjoy those photos and more. In addition to the beauty of rural Alberta, there is so much more. In that regard, what better way to learn, and take some beautiful images, than to tag along with an Agronomist like Mr. Novel who knows Alberta agriculture quite well since he manages some of the crop fields for his clients. If anyone knows what makes for a successful harvest, it is Mr. Novel. It was a great experience and happy to share here. Unfortunately, I won't be able to repeat a lot of the knowledge imparted on me because I don't remember them anymore, but I am sure Mr. Novel can fill you in if you have any questions.

We visited peas, wheat, and canola fields. Keep reading after the following set of pictures to dive into the details.

The journey starts at the offices of Sturgeon Valley Fertilizers where Mr. Novel works. First, we went to a peas field. While we are all fascinated by canola fields, Alberta does produce a lot of peas. The harvest is almost a month away and the field as you can see is growing quite well. In some of the pictures, you will notice Mr. Novel is showing me some of the crop details, for example, legumes and how it is growing. In some, he is actually inspecting so that he can plan the fertilizer and chemicals to keep the harmful bugs away. The tracks that you see in one of the pictures are that of the sprayers which is used to spray the fertilizers and chemicals. The last picture is of storage. This one is actually quite new and advanced. In one of the pictures below you will see what an old storage looks like.

Next up wheat field.

It may not be as beautiful as a canola field, it is an important staple. In lay view, it almost looks like a rice field but I am sure that it is not the case. In one of the closeup shots, you can see what the inside of the wheat flower looks like. The health of the field looks quite amazing which means the chemicals have been properly administered which definitely means Mr. Novel has a done a great job keeping the bugs away.

I am sure the next segment will make for some beautiful pictures because we went to the canola field. Now, no trip is complete without some surprises. Keep reading.

Needless to say, the canola field is the highlight of Alberta summers. As you drive across the vast expanse of Alberta countryside, the one thing you don't miss is the bright yellow canola fields with a bright blue sky with some clouds and the greenery to top it off. Our last stop was a vast canola field of a client of Mr. Novel which he manages. To keep it healthy, Agronomists like Mr. Novel has to monitor it regularly and ensure that any early signs of bug infestation is quickly quashed with the right amount of chemicals.

Harvest time is mid August and runs almost 24/7. I have been told that a harvest time shot of a tractor at night with full moon in the horizon will be the quintessential Alberta image which I should capture someday. I am sure I will.

As we were about to leave, I was surprised by the sudden arrival of one of the giant spray machines. Now, I must say, I have been in Canada and in Edmonton for 15 years and this is my first time seeing one so up close. They are huge. The gentleman stopped just for us and he was kind enough to position the sprayer so that it is rightly positioned for some great shots. It was very nice of him. I hope you enjoy them too. There is a video too which I will be adding later in this blog. A machine like this costs as much as $600,000. These are the machines that eventually put food on our table by ensuring that the crop stays healthy and our Alberta farmers have a good harvest.

I learned a lot. This blog wasn't meant to be educational by any means. However, it is important that we understand our province much deeper than just the cities we live in. While my goal is to take great images, it is also important to learn our agricultural roots. Mr. Novel advised that there are lots of jobs in this field which probably isn't surprising. Immigrants are not knowledgeable about what's out there beyond the concrete walls of cities.

On behalf of BlueSky Fotography, I would like to thank Mr. Khaled Novel for taking the time to show me around. The Blog is dedicated to him, our farmers, and the beauty that is all around us.

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