Friday, May 10, 2013

Focus on: Feeling Hope

Hope is a little seed.

Who are the most hopeful people you know? 

Unless you live in the country, like I do, you probably won't answer that question with, "A farmer."  Even among those of us who live here, how many actually farm for a living? 

People who grow our food are the most hopeful people I can think of. Imagine placing your entire year's prospective earnings in the ground, and hoping it grows!

The day after Sally Russick's photo prompt, "Hope" arrived, this was our local newspaper front page.

What they are referring to in the headline is the fact that the dominant crop of our most successful farms for many years, has been onions. They grow really well in the "black dirt" of Orange County New York. But you can no longer count on onions to build a fortune, or even pay all the bills. 

But that does not kill the hope of farmers, they have started to diversify and add everything from corn and soy beans, to arugula and rich green grass turf.  

Here are some pictures of hope I captured this week. Not much green showing in the fields yet, but so much hope!

Going down into the prehistoric glacial lake bottom. 

You can see why they call it Black Dirt.

When frost is predicted, it's important to know which way the wind is blowing.  Or maybe the farmer has a small plane. 

It's been dry, so irrigation has started before the crop can be seen. Can you see the rainbows? 

To learn more about the Black Dirt Region of New York go HERE.

To find out how others interpreted HOPE, go to The Studio Sublime. 


  1. I have never heard of the black dirt cool!!

  2. Have driven past those fields of black dirt many times, as my son lives in Greenwood Lake. They are magical, and you are right, so full of hope!

  3. Yes, farmers are definitely very hopeful people. I bet the onions from that black dirts are tasty.

    1. Yes, indeed, the Black Dirt onions are very tasty. They are the ones that make you cryyyyyyyyy.

  4. Our dirt is from Glacial Lake Missoula. It's got a lot of river rock in it but it is excellent for our garden. Although the goat poop doesn't hurt as fertilizer ;)

    You are right - growing your own food is a whole barrel of hope.

  5. My soil is awful... may be another reason I buy my veggies... somebody has to buy those onions! I came East from a farming area and know all about excess rain, no rain, rain at the wrong time of year... endless hope...

  6. I love, love, love the first photo, the road extending on and on.

  7. I love it. We are always hopefully beings aren't we?

  8. Great pics Beti. You are right about farmers. I am a country woman also so I understand what you are talking about. Love the rainbows. There is hope at the end of a rainbow.

  9. I love the smell of dirt, and I can almost smell that wonderful black dirt from here! Our farmers are diversifying too in order to save their farms. This June we will be eating a family style meal in the middle of a corn field on a beautiful farm near the Kaw River here in Kansas. I can't wait!

    I grew up in the country, though not on a farm, but I was raised in a farming family and know that sometimes all the farmer has is hope.

  10. Great post! Educational AND inspirational. I love the tradition of farming but sadly did not inherit that talent myself.

  11. Coming from the midwest, where corn fields were everywhere, I think you're spot on - Farmer's are the most hopeful folks on the planet! Love that you shared w/us about the black dirt / onions - very cool!! Your photos are great this week, too!!

  12. I've not hear of the black dirt region either. Love your photos and using farmers as your theme.

  13. Your pictures are beautiful and give endless amounts of hope. You are correct, farming has really changed since our grandfather's time. I almost think with the weather changes, farmers need more hope now than back then.

  14. I've never seen black dirt like in you pictures. I wonder if we have anything like that in Australia. All we have around here is orange clay (potatoes love it apparently) and and our farmers are hoping for rain. Love the rainbow in your last photo!

  15. Indeed, farmers are one of the most hopeful people - and probably one of the most really in tune with nature (they must be). I love watching the crops come to live - although this spring is quite strange... I hope the fields will provide, despite the weather craziness.