“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
I instantly fell in love with this quote. Spending any time at all on a working farm makes you realize just how precarious our food supply can be, that it requires constant work to yield any kind of crop, and that deep green fields can be among the most deceptively hot places you will ever experience.
Earlier this week I stood in this place looking at my wife’s late cousin Paul’s farm from a new angle. We were meeting with staff from Park Canada and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority to discuss a wetland restoration project that was planned in a parcel of low pasture land, which is seen here as the tall grass area just behind the tree stump. This area is fed by several springs just north of the property and, in the past, provided a water source for Paul’s dairy cattle. Some time prior to his passing, Paul gave up his cattle herd and focussed on grain crops and the pasture sat generally idle, with the exception of a few cattle he allowed a friend to pasture there.
Standing here and reviewing the restoration plan and surveying the idyllic scene before me gave me a whole new appreciation for just how tightly interwoven our natural surroundings can be, even in a developed area like a farm. From here I see layer after layer of different environments unfold before me, from the bright green hay field, to the wetlands; the feed corn that grows on the flowing hillsides, till they meet the summer sky, with its billowing clouds. Among this multi-layered landscape, the barn and farmstead sit like a guardian, overlooking it all.
I know that Paul was involved in the process of developing this portion of Rouge National Urban Park, but sadly, did not survive to see it fulfilled. But, he left us his legacy in this little slice of paradise he called home for so many years.
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/500 sec, f/11.0, ISO 200
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