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The Harvest

July 12, 2014

As I drove by the open field across from my street, I saw it: the telltale cloud of dust in the field. The last few days have been sunny and hot and I have been watching…waiting for the haying to begin.


I am lucky enough to live in a small village where there are still farms and fields right inside the community. When I bought my house, I remember signing a paper that said that I knew I would be living near a farm and understood and accepted that. Accept it? I love it!

I love walking by the pastures and stopping to look at the cows. I probably spend hours every month, just standing there, watching and observing. The old Minnesota farm girl in me has been revived. As the seasons change, the activities on the farm change with them. And now – it was time for the haying.

Sure enough, there was my neighbor the farmer with his ancient tractor.


He stopped last year and we chatted a bit about his equipment. “Yup,” he said, “Got it in the fifties, but it’s a late forties model; still runs pretty good.” His baler is even older – with an arm that cranks noisily up and down as it spits out the old fashioned rectangular bales, dumping them into a containment pen. Then, every now and then, the farmer stands up and pulls a cord, the back of the pen opens, and two or three bales spill out onto the ground.


As the tractor churns past me, the baler noisily gobbling up the carefully piled grass, I wave and the farmer smiles and waves back. There is something so special about being able to stand on the grass in an open field – less than a block from my house – and hear those sounds and smell those smells. In the course of our conversation last year, I learned that my neighbor is in his late 60’s. I know the time will come when he won’t be able to do this work. He’ll retire – and these beautiful fields that undulate like green and gold ripples on the earth will be gone. Once again, I hope – fervently – that that day is still years away.


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