Growing up amongst the bluffs and coulees of the Upper Mississippi River Valley that are blanketed with small family farms. The land in itself is unique with its rich and fertile soil that was left behind when the last glaciers split and went around this area. Those who made their way to this area found the land to their liking and settled down to raise their herds and grow the crops that would help to feed a growing nation.
Amongst those who came was the family from which I am descended. Like any family, ours grew from being farmers to living in cities to make our way in this world. While each generation went on to find, their way of making a living there are those in subsequent generations who are starting to come back to the farm life in their own subtle way.
While I am not one of them, my interest in the land and the life of the farm brings me a step closer to my forebears. It is from them that I have learned my love for land and environment that has led me to this project “Seasons of Farming”. What fascinates me about these farmsteads is how they have woven themselves into and onto the bluffs and coulees of this area. Along with this, one has the ever changing colors of the seasons from winter’s blanket of snow to shades of green in spring. Then along come the colors of summer that soften into the earth tones of fall that lead us back to the white of winter.
While driving the back roads that wind around the different farms and through the small farming towns I found the land asking me to be its interpreter, asking me to show those who have not grown up on farm land what it is like what each day, season and year are about, for the land that feeds the world. It was in these thoughts that I knew I had that the ability to bring a new and different perspective of what farming is and the importance of the land and animals that make up this industry, to those who do not know or understand it.
It is about looking back at my own roots and the choices made before I was even thought of led me, to being able to make my own choices in this world. With that choice in following my creative side, in stepping out and being true to who I am. I am an artist a descendent of farmers who toiled so that I could give those now, and the future a small glimpse at what it takes to work the land.
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|-- Charlie, 7/18/20|