Nearly 200 young Windsorites spent the week sweltering in Essex County corn fields.
The students are spending the summer detasseling corn. They're working for Michele Daignault, who owns Daignault Corn Crew, a company contracted county wide to detassel fields.
Tassels contain pollen at the top of a corn stalk. Daignault's crew detassels hybrid corn crops, where two varieties of corn grow in one field. Detasseling ensures only one of the two varieties pollinate the other.
It's hard, physical labour and this week has been extremely hot - so hot Daignault had to alter her schedule.
"The past few days, weather-wise, has not been ideal," Daignault said.
She got one crew into a 100-acre field Sunday. She was to train a second crew Monday in another similarly sized field.
"I had to limit my training shifts to approximately three hours due to the crazy humidex," Daignault said.
Katya Rowley, 19, is a Western University student from Tecumseh who is now a crew leader.
"It's hot in there. There's no breeze in the corn so it's just hot," she said. "I love it. I keep coming back, right? It's not easy by any means but I keep coming back."
Rain has also presented problems for the crews. Tuesday ended with a field evacuation at 12:15 p.m. in Harrow because an intense storm rolled through.
"We managed to get all 150 kids out of the field safely before the lighting passed over our field," Daignault said. "We only got pummelled with rain for a short time."
Kids are told to wave their hats if they ever find themselves in trouble in a field.
The weather has also affected the corn.
"Our corn field rows are not so straight anymore. Due to all the recent heavy rain, which caused the root system to weaken, and strong wind storms, the corn has laid down," Daignault said.
She said machine "pullers" went in and "made a mess of the field."
"It has been challenging, to say the least, to train new kids on knocked down, twisted rows," Daignault said. "But at the end of our training day [Tuesday], I still got a bus load of thumbs up. Windsor kids are hardcore."