Monday, July 27, 2009

Country Roads - or How I Spent My Weekend

This weekend I was invited to go stay on a friends farm and take pictures and relax. I have been thinking about where I want to move and the type of life style I would like to have. I have been talking a lot about it with friends and family. This particular friend is fifth generation farmer. I have known their family for some time and have always appreciated all the time and energy it takes to live this life. They are quite fortunate as their great or grand parents started a bank after the depression for farmers so this helps in the "bad" years.

I got to stay in one of the "older" restored farmhouses on the property. It was such a treat. The smell of grass and animals was something I had forgotten. Here I smell the salt of the ocean. Everywhere was motion. The corn was swaying, the chickens were pecking in the ground, the insects were pollinating. It was so full of life.

One of the things I enjoyed was how good the food was - so fresh. I went into the garden picked and then cooked. Something I haven't done in a long time. I will say that it is a lot of work to run these farms. Always something that needs to be done. I was amazed at how so many of the small farms were being bought up or rented by large corporations. People we need these farms.

Not the time to get up on a soap box... I really enjoyed being out in the country. The long drives - seeing no one for miles, the old barns and houses, the friendliness of everyone. The crickets at night...I hope you will enjoy some of my pictures.

Sunday Morning was spent at the family church. I love this old place. The church has these high ceilings and aqua blue stained glass windows. When you drive up you see all this fine white sand and the whole front of the church yard has these immense Willow Oaks. Some are twisted by the wind, but all give off this wonderful cool shade. These trees have been here for a long time. They hold great secrets I am sure. After the service when you walk out it is so refreshing. We came early so I could walk around the cemetery and take pictures. Southerners really like their cemeteries.

Everywhere you go you see fields of crops. The Tobacco is just starting to turn. We have had bumper crops of everything with all the rain we have had. I love how as you drive down the roads with all the windows down and the air conditioning on full blast you can smell everything growing. The barns are just roofs above everything. Here is a picture of a field of Tobacco and am old drying barn.

Here in North Carolina we grow all sorts of things - cotton, tobacco, corn, soy beans and wheat to just name a few. This is another Tobacco drying barn on the edge of a hay field. We believe in the rotation system here. Grow one thing one season, then re enrich the soil with something else another. Your crops also might depend on the livestock you maintain. In a month or so this field will be cut and rolled for the cows this farmer supports.

These mail boxes just caught my eye. For miles all I could see were soybean fields - then these two mailboxes. I asked my friend about them and was told that they were there to hold the lunches of the men who worked these fields. At a certain time their lunch was delivered. The rest of the weekend I noticed many of the fields had mailboxes or newspaper holders at the entrance to the fields. I am supposing these were drop off points.


Terri Kahrs said...

As I read your post, I could smell the fields, feel the breeze on my face and hear insects buzzing about. Fabulous pictures and an awesome post! Thank you SO much for sharing. Hugs, Terri

Bea said...

Last night, on an evening drive with John along our back roads I told him that I love where we live. It has everything I think I need for my creativity. That said, I also need a trip to an ocean at least once a year to renew myself. lol
North Carolina is gorgeous. My parents lived in Ashland for a time.
Thank you for sharing pictures of your road trip. I loved seeing them. :)Bea

Diann said...

I so enjoyed your road trip and there is something mighty special about the North Carolina country!
Thanks for sharing! Diann

Cindy said...

I just wanted to tell you that I love your pictures,the country roads.. And ask you what you did to make them look so old and rather rustic??? I think it makes them look PERFECT ! Did you use a special program?

They are Wonderful !! Thanks for sharing..

Lindart said...

Beautiful photos! How do you get them to look so old?

Catherine said...

We miss living in the farmlands of NC now that we're in the Pacific NW... it's beautiful here, but not the same as the South.

Your pictures are so rich and beautiful, and the stories are a delight. Had no idea that the mailboxes near fields were used for lunch at one time - what a wonderful history. Your photos have such a timeless quality to them; thank you for sharing your beautiful artwork!