Flying I Bison Ranch has become a rural tourist destination
By Diego Flammini
Darren Ireland, a bison farmer from near Carievale, Sask., has added more visual art to an already extensive collection.
In addition to the bison herd, Flying I Bison Ranch also houses 11 buildings full of displays. Collection highlights include uniforms from both world wars, appliances and homemade equipment.
Ireland’s latest addition features 100 bicycles.
The bikes sit atop eight-foot fence posts surrounding the farm. Ireland welded metal onto the bottoms of the bikes and placed them inside the hollow fence posts.
To complete this work, he stood in the box of his truck to attach the bikes. He brought out bigger machinery for the heavier items like motorcycles.
“I use a skid-steer for the heavier stuff because I ain’t quite as young and nimble as I used to be,” he told CBC Radio’s the Morning Edition yesterday.
The idea for the project dawned on him while he was “bored sitting around the shop,” he added.
From there, it was off to landfills where he discovered some of the bikes.
“You’d be surprised what people throw away these days,” he told CBC.
When the wind blows, the bikes all face different directions and are sometimes covered in frost, Ireland added.
His love for displays comes from his father, Larry.
Larry started a museum on the property in 2009. The collection largely contains auction purchases and donations.
“People drop stuff off all the time,” Larry told CBC.
Larry’s wife is a minister and has even performed some marriages in the church that also sits on the farm, he said, adding that visitors from as far away as Kansas City have stopped by the farm to visit their displays.
Top photo: Bikes line Darren Ireland's fence on his bison farm near Carievale, Sask.
Photo: Jim Galloway Photography/CBC