Showing posts from September 7, 2014

6 Sources for Awesome Agricultural Clipart

Well, the growing season is fading. Farmers and gardeners hustle to harvest their crops before cold and snow set in. The faces of farming and the fruits of their labours are diverse, from small husband-and-wife operations to factory farms, from large custom croppers to tiny market vendors, from animal husbandry to organic vegetables. Yet, how often do we think of that? Even living in a rural community I often take for granted the food on my plate. With the exception of Thanksgiving, rarely do I give any thought to where it came from and how blessed I am to have it in abundance.  Not that I haven't seen first hand what it means to be a farmer. As a kid growing up in an urban area, I was lucky to have country cousins with whom I spent a few weeks each summer. This was back in the day when diversity farming was the only farming. Barns were an agricultural zoo with pens of pigs, stalls for horses and cows and coops for chickens. In the morning we collected eggs,  in the late af

Tips for Agricultural Photography

Every year our local fall fair includes a photography contest, with one of the subjects focussing, not surprisingly on agriculture. Living in a small village surrounded by farms on some of the richest agricultural land there is, where the diversity of production ranges from traditional livestock to the exotic, I find myself surprised then by the dearth of rural-themed pictures in my collection. It really is odd. It's not as agriculture presents a lack of subject material.  One could focus their lens on architecture and landscapes, animals and the faces of farming as well as lots of things in between. It's also not that I've never taken any agricultural shots, either. Back in my newspaper days, when we put out an annual rural life section each spring, I was given access to no end of subject material and came away with many nice photographs. These, though are the property of the publication, not for me to lay claim to.  But, these days, while I might drive through the

Over 100 Farming Animations

When we think of the country life, we tend to visualize a quieter one with plenty of room for family to grow and thrive. Rather than the hustle and bustle of crowded urban streets with people and traffic dashing under a smoggy haze, where horns honk and sirens blare, out on the farm the air is clear, the stillness unsettled only by the gentle mooing of cattle, the distant drone of a tractor, or the passing of a car or two, now and then. But remembering back to the many summers I enjoyed vacationing at my cousins, I'd have to say that while the country might be quiet it was rarely still. On from the early rising of my aunt, bustling in the kitchen, and my uncle treading out at pre-dawn to milk the cows, there was always plenty of activity. It was only night, with no social life nearby, when the day quieted and the only entertainment needed was the beauty of a clear starry night. While the grown-ups filled daylight hours with hard work, my cousin and I spent our time wanderin

Great Images of Agriculture

You don't live where I live and not think about agriculture. Especially this time of year. A drive around the countryside on a beautiful afternoon this past weekend was a reminder that harvest is upon us soon. Vast cornfields, acres of beans and the odd pumpkin patch or crop of sunflowers stand in final glory before the season of bounty is celebrated. Speckled in between is the usual assortment of livestock, as varied as what can be expected in an area that boasts agriculture as its number one industry.  Large barns house pigs and poultry, while sheep, beef cattle, dairy cows, horses, and even the occasional herd of llama graze wide open spaces. Connecting large towns, small villages and tiny hamlets are miles and miles of land where factory farms rule,  but a few quaint barns still hang on. In all of my decades on this earth, there have only been a few years spent in a large urban centre.  Small-town  and the surrounding countryside are my home. Living here it's dif

Tips for Taking Fall Fair Pictures

It is the month to celebrate agriculture in rural communities. Small towns and even large urban centres located in farming areas host annual fall fairs, where contributions to the harvest and to the country life are acknowledged and awarded. Having lived my entire life in this type of setting it's a tradition with which I'm quite familiar. Fall fairs days in the town where I grew up were eagerly anticipated by children, not just as a get-out-of-school-free pass, but also for the social and entertainment value.  Each year after school began we took time from classes for daily marching practices so we were sure to be show ready for the annual parade. On the big day we lined up and with regimental precision, or at least our variation of it,  and made our way through town to the fairgrounds.   Fidgeting during the opening ceremonies, we broke away with energetic hoots and hollers once dismissed, heading to the midway and other attractions. By the time I had become a young m