18 February

Red Truck On Route 22. A Sign of Life.

by Jon Katz
Real Farms

If you are ever out driving in the country, and you want to tell a real farm from a hobby farm, look for junk. The mark of the true farm is the junk and the detritus that litter the landscape. No real farmer every throws anything away for buys anything new.

I know one farm that has six or seven old farm trucks lying around, over time each one is cannibalized for parts to keep its successors going. There is nothing new in any truck on any farm i know, except for the big corporate ones. it used to look desolate to me to see these old trucks rusting by the road, but now I see it is a sign of life.

It means somebody got or bartered for a newer truck, and the farm life goes on.

The life of the farmer is very hard, and gets harder all the time They just dropped milk prices again, and farm suicide hot lines are reporting record numbers of calls. The small family farm, the backbone of the country for many years, is hurting.

When I can, I try to capture the feel of these farms, and they are rarely pretty, no one can afford to be pretty or has the time.

The mark of the real farm are the shells and hulks and tires and old parts that lie around everywhere. Read farms are ugly, not pastoral, real farms are smelly, not sweet-smelling. The red farm truck in the photo has been lying around for a couple of years. This year the door is open, I’m not sure what that means. Some old tires are tossed nearby to keep it company, it looks like it belongs there, as if it grew out of the winter pasture. Perhaps it did.

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