I've been out roaming the countryside with my Tablet trying to get some good pictures of veggie fields down here in Georgia. And, I have to say it has been extremely hard to get good pictures...because it is so darn sunny!
The picture above is of a road that I thought was beautiful. I mentioned last time about the red soil down here. The color in paints is actually called "Georgia Clay". So, this was the first picture on my way down the road.
This is the second field I saw...notice the color of the soil in the fields is a dead looking gray sandy color. True. It is sandy. And, they do spray it with all kinds of chemicals to keep the weeds out, so the part about dead might be true also. This field contains tomatoes. Six rows then a space for the truck, then six...for acres and acres and acres. The tomatoes have stakes every two or three feet. The rows are hilled up, then have a black plastic cover, the stakes and tomatoes are put into the plastic. This field might be ready to harvest in another couple of weeks as the green tomatoes are getting big.
When they harvest ('they' meaning the field hands, mostly migrants who move from field to field during the season...some stay with one company for about 5 months) will walk down the rows picking the fruit. A wagon will ride down the large rows with containers for the goods, sometimes with a tarp over the top to keep everything shaded. Altho I've seen stuff out in the sun also.
I tried to get some pics of other crops. There are squash, cabbage, and peppers. The peppers are staked like the tomatoes, altho closer. There are acres of tobacco that are about thigh high right now. I saw one farmer out in his field spraying the tobacco, using a large John Deere tractor. (Not sure what he was spraying with.) The peanuts and cotton are coming up, most small still.
It is really hard to get a picture of the acres and acres of produce. When I see a field of 50 acres of squash, I wish it would show up on the camera like I see it. But, the scope of it just doesn't show. It is amazing to me to think of our little farm with a couple thousand plants, and then see these fields with...I can't even come up with the number of plants they might have. And, much of this is done with larger equipment now. So, I went to the graveyard...small farm equipment graveyard, for a look.
But, even tho there are small farm graveyards full of small veggie equipment...there is also hope!! I picked up a Georgia Farm Bureau brochure for all the farmers markets. It was soooo great to see that their Farm Bureau supports their small farmers. HINT! And, there are lots of little farms selling eggs and produce alongside the roads.
We can also go up to the produce buyer place in town, which has a "farmers market" all the time. Some of the large veggie farms around here bring their produce to be packaged at places like this and then some gets sold locally (altho much goes to big stores like Walmart).
It is a whole different way of farming than what we are trying to do. We grow so much less, on so much less land, with such small equipment, with only a couple of people, and with the struggle of keeping our markets. (Thanks a ton to all of you who are keeping us afloat this year!) I can't say we compete well with all this...there isn't much of a competition to be had when they sell for pennies. We will never feed the world, they won't either. But, hopefully we will be able to have our land healthy enough for the next few hundred years. Will they?