Category: Farming

Hard Work

Work
Work

“If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean that you would be a midget if you were bald.” Lemony Snicket

But it’s not Perfect

Sunflower 6-12-19
Sunflower 6-12-19

I stopped at an Amish flower stand to check out the sunflowers I saw last week and an old woman on a bicycle rode up and said hello. I mentioned how big they got and she told me that she didn’t plant them, it was the birds.

When I asked her if any were flowering she told me there was one on the end of the row but something was wrong with it, it wasn’t perfect. I walked over with the curiosity of Schrödinger’s cat and wondered what she meant.

As soon as I saw it I knew that it was absolutely perfect! The leaves protecting the flower were growing at an odd angle but it was very healthy and probably happy to have someone care so much about it.

I took a few photos as the clouds burned off into bright sunshine, the kind of bright that makes color photos of flowers look washed out, so I knew I would end up converting this to black and white. I thanked the woman and told her she made my day.

“Do you think it will be OK?” she asked me before I left. I was a bit surprised at the question but I figured she was used to dealing with two headed calves and vegetables that grow to look like genitals, the Amish hate when that happens. I assured her the flower would be fine.

The Buddha said: “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up because you will lose the ability to learn new things. Move forward with your life.” I didn’t tell her that because she was close to 80 and I’m sure she has life pretty much figured out by now.

Workin’ for a livin’

Spring prep
Spring prep

It’s been said that if you choose a job you love you will never have to work a day in your life. But I think that applies more to a job like a motorcycle tester than an Amish farmer.

Wendell Berry wrote: “There are only two reasons to farm: because you have to, and because you love to. The ones who choose to farm choose for love.” I wonder if the horses feel that way too?

Farm Living

Amish Plow Horses
Amish Plow Horses

I stopped to photograph this Amish farmer getting his field ready for planting and it was such a tender moment that tears came to my eyes. It might have been the near freezing temperature and biting wind, but the scene reminded me of many things.

Time passing so quickly, the changing of the seasons, the beauty of spring and the hard work of these farmers. As the smell of horse manure rose into the air, I thought of the show Green Acres, and Oliver deciding that working with his hands was more important than working as a lawyer in the big city.

I would say that farm livin’ is the life for me, keep Manhattan just give me that countryside. But I don’t like getting muddy, or working in a field all day, or having obsessive photographers standing there taking my picture while I’m trying to do my job.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Tender Moments