Spring Plowing in Waves of Umber

It’s that time of year again. I am so ready. Spring has finally arrived in Central New York. Did I say that I was ready… that my mood is greatly determined by the temperature this time of year? A chilly day can make me feel down right cranky and completely out of sorts. I wait like a child at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning for those first bulbs to pop up. Sometimes its a challenge being transplanted from a warm climate to a cold one. We won’t go there…

Spring planting. It’s a busy time of year here at the farm. As soon as the ground is dry enough to work the harvesting equipment gets moved out of the way and the planting equipment starts to make an appearance. The plow gets new points, worn out pieces get replaced and the planting depth gets tested and set. When Farmboy and I were dating I often rode around in the tractor with him. Seeing the plow systematically slice through the earth and turn it on its end was quite an experience. I found it mesmerizing… almost hypnotic, artful and lovely. The soothing way that waves roll onto a shoreline, the waves of green sod would turn, roll, fold and come settling down upon itself to expose the dark loamy soil underneath. Powered by an enormous tractor, the plow cuts the earth like butter. Smooth. Clean. Almost effortlessly until an underground stone is snagged sending one of the blades springing up into the air with a loud bang.

I find it interesting- the beauty and simplicity of the process juxtaposed with the forceful way the carpet of the earth is sliced and then exposed. It is harsh yet graceful. From a solid carpet of green comes a textured pattern of umber. Down folds the sod, full of nitrogen to fertilize this year’s crop. Up come the grubs, worms and bugs- a feast for the birds following behind.

I told Farmboy that I wanted to photograph the process and he suggested making a short video which I thought was positively genius since it would show the action. If you look closely you will see the vertical rotating wheels in front of the end blade slicing into the surface leaving a clean path for the crest of the dirt wave. I hope you find it visually interesting. Double click on the image below to start the video.


Hi, I’m Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed art for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, two children and a small petting zoo of other family members. #shapeyoursweetestlife



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