Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Summer - time to thank a farmer!

Whoever thought I would be sitting here today happily tooting the joys of living in the country obviously envisioned it all before I ever could. Actually I'm very content living in the country, and used to those crickets night after night instead of tripped household alarms and the airplane landing path overhead. Even the mice in the farmer's fields can send me loopy when they leave their dens and run over to our property instead, but such is life among farmers near and far.

Every summer when I note the farmer's yielded crops growing beautifully in their fields, I am reminded to pray for this generational vocation as the duty of farming is becoming rare in some parts of the country, entire families ousted from their fields and land stolen from large bureaucratic developments.

Shown here in these photos are a winter wheat crop just up the road from where we live. Across the street from this field is another crop of sweet corn, almost ready to be picked and sold at the local farmer's market stands.

It was one of those days when I pulled over to the side of the gravel roadway and yanked my camera from my bag. I began snapping landscape photos and then when I reached nearer to the crop's edge, I became smitten with the beauty of the wheat before me. I noted the color, still green and not yet ready for harvest.

And then, just a few weeks later after my initial photos were snapped, the day came for the farmer to haul out his combine and begin the process of cutting his crop. It seemed to take him forever to me, several days in fact to cut the wheat from the chaff, fill up the grain bins and scatter the remains.

On another day he hauled out another piece of equipment to gather and roll up the chaff for use in the barn where his son and daughter in law's horses winter store would be stored until needed.

Today as I passed by the same fields, this is all that remained shown in my photo below, that is for now until such a time as he begins to plant a new crop, likely in a few weeks I am told. Wow. It's time we thank our local farmers, and be vocal about it while you're at it! We have met more generational farming families since our move here, and all spend more hours in the fields than in their homes all year long.

Seasonal contrasts can be almost breathtaking some days, depending on the weather and the way the sun directs our paths to the beauty of the farmer's fields.

In the photos below you'll be witness to a late spring winter wheat growth period, followed by the remains of the harvest when the grain bins are gone and the bales of dried up stalks are bound and prepared for winter's storage in the barn.

Late Spring above - Summer below

So, what was on your table today? Grains, veggies, meat?
Be sure to thank a farmer!