Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bill's Farm

Sneezing and sniffling, camera thrown over my shoulder, a cup of coffee in my hand - I am a city girl on an exploration. It's seven-thirty in the morning. I'm an hour early, but workers are already hard at work unloading bins of corn for the soon-to-arrive shoppers. I take a couple of shots and listen to their easy banter.

I'm at Bill's Farm in Harbor Springs, Michigan - a family-built, owned and operated farm. We're surrounded by acres and acres of fresh fruit trees, vegetable and flower rows. Since they knew I was coming, I make myself at home. Eagerly, I head off into a field. Because I'm only wearing flip flops, I feel the dirt between my toes, and wonder if maybe I should have worn my Nike Air tennis shoes. But, who cares? It's glorious!

Bill's main crops are corn (my favorite) and melons. Both are growing like weeds (pardon the expression), and I can't help it - I jump, like a kid, between the rows, to get a better look at the vegetables. Taking more pictures as I go.

In the next field over, I spot a tractor. A man sits up high on its seat - staring into the distance. I follow his gaze and see the hills. They are covered in golden yellows and green sage and speckled with wild flowers. I take a deep breath with him, and for a moment, we enjoy the morning.

When I trek back up to the house (where they hold the market), my mind wonders in amazement - the food growing in those rows finds its way onto my table. After buying my produce, I turn, reluctantly, to leave as eager shoppers rush past, chattering on about close parking spaces, bulk purchases and great deals.

Driving away, I spot a mother turkey with her five large babies walking in single file alongside the road. I take another deep breath. I'm so glad I took the time to have this adventure!