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Celebrating Agriculture With These Wonderful Photos (200916) [Previous]
Celebrating Agriculture With These Wonderful PhotosWe have reached summer's end. Above us verdant leaves begin to take on their autumn aesthetic with crisp golds, rich russets, velvety crimsons and vibrant yellows replacing lively green.

Though temperatures are still pleasantly warm throughout the day, a subtle nip has worked its way into my morning bike ride, inspiring the donning of a thick hoodie for the commute. The fading sun sinks below the horizon at an ever increasing pace, a reminder of how soon the majority of our day will be spent in darkness.

Living as I do in a rural community, I have a front-row seat to the activity taking place in fields and gardens right now. Pops of orange dot pumpkin patches; heavy machinery with laden wagons travel the roads. It's the culmination of a growing season for farmers and signs are evident all around.

Various events highlight this, celebrating agriculture and its contributions. A neighbouring community annually hosts a homey, but huge, homage to country living of yesteryear with its Thresher Reunion and Steam Show on the weekend following Labour Day. Thousands come out to see the big machines that once toured the communities with crews to get the work done. There is a gigantic craft sale, and an antique car and tractor show. Demonstrations range from the archaic belt-setting to the entertaining bag tying and log sawing.

Then there are the plowing matches, both local and international, held before the end of the month. From the Queen of the Furrow contest to competitions on the field, from displays to entertainment these events are much-anticipated happenings, attended not just by country folk but urbanites too.

Of course, no September would be complete without our fall fairs. Though changing lifestyles have seen many of these struggle to survive, in the true spirit of coming together that is synonymous with a rural community, they always manage to wrap up with their sights aimed fiercely on the next year.

Tomorrow is the annual fair in my town. When I first moved here 40 years ago, this was the biggest thing to happen in the area, excluding Santa Claus's annual visit of course. It was a big deal, and everyone participated. Children marched from the school to the fairgrounds, having practised diligently for days prior. There were contests galore, a huge midway, games and animal shows. Exhibits filled the charming old building which for decades served as the venue until the powers that be determined in the late 1970s the new arena would be a far better place.

And that seemed to begin a change. Sadly. Participation and attendance numbers started to shrink and the decline has been slow but steady ever since.

What has never changed, however, is that for the many faithful who support it every year with entries of flowers, pies and handiwork, or simply with their presence, this is the epitome of the agricultural social life. All of the aforementioned events gather together people who understand a way of life, who enjoy visits with their neighbours and new friends, who appreciate and understand the work ethic and the bounty that comes as a result of that.

As we move towards the final week of September we look ahead to the greatest celebration of harvest Thanksgiving, recognized on the second Monday in October. This is the time to give thanks for the bounty we enjoy here and count our many blessings.

With all of this in mind, today's photo collection then will pay tribute to agriculture and the people who bring us our daily bread:

iPHOTOS.com Agriculture Photos
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