I have nothing but respect for farmers, especially small farmers like Elise who produce beautiful, organic produce year after year with a small staff and lots of hard work. And a love of the land, let's not forget that!
Here are some of the many pictures I took while on my research jaunts. When you read Weekends in Carolina, you may recognize some of the scenes.
This picture isn't actually from Elise's farm, but from a Piedmont Farm Tour I went on. It's red clover and it's used as a cover crop to return nitrogen back into the soil. A field of it is incredibly beautiful, as you can see in the bottom picture.
One thing I found interesting is how messy (for lack of a better word) all the rows were. Grasses and clovers grow between the rows to keep the weeds down, as you can see in this picture of eggplant.
It's difficult to describe how wonderful my visits were. The fields buzz with bees, birds, and butterflies, but there is wonderful peace. I won't say stillness, because Elise, Beth, and the rest of the Elysian Fields crew was always working and they were never still.
Not all of us can be farmers and some of us (myself included) can't even garden. Do you garden? What do you grow? Flowers? Vegetables?
I'll be giving away a print copy of Weekends in Carolina. US winners only. Void where prohibited. Comment to enter. I'll run the giveaway from today until May 19th, posting the winner on the 20th. Please include your email so I can contact you about your prize.