I find myself rather fascinated by all that goes on around Eatwell during these busy summer months. Since our farm never has acres and acres of one thing, the surrounding farms are strikingly different to us. The landscape around us can change pretty dramatically in just a couple of days. Corn seems to pop out of the ground at 6' tall overnight, fields of green wheat suddenly become amber waves of grain. I particularly love the fields of Sunflowers, their happy yellow faces turning toward the sun. In Italian they are called Girasole, girare meaning "turn" and sole for the sun - ever following the sun. The sunflowers around us are grown for their seeds, most of which are shipped off to France. Sadly, the seeds aren't harvested until the sunflowers are all dried up and quite ugly. But at the moment, driving down our road, the bright yellow acres are just beautiful.
The most activity in the "hood" this time of year happens in the tomato fields. Right now we are smack in the thick of harvest. Campbell's has a plant here in Dixon that runs 3 to 4 months a year, simply making tomato soup. Trucks zoom up and down our road (far too fast, if you ask me!) 24 hours a day. The tomato harvesting also happens 24 hours a day. The soup factory is open for business and it, too, is running 24 hours a day. The harvesting rigs are enormous, operating at night using big lights. Literally, the plants are ripped out of the ground and sorted, the green tomatoes removed from the red ones, using sensors just before they go up the conveyor belt. As Nigel always tells people, these are not tomatoes you would want to eat, as they are grown for color and texture. The flavor happens when the soup blends are made. The blends are flavored differently depending on what part of the world the soup is going to.
Still amazed by this place I now call my home. Watching the world change as the plants grow, or the harvests come in, and the seasons change. I realize my reckoning of time is quite different from how it was growing up in the City. The sounds of my "hood" are the roosters crowing (all night long), singing their version of a round robin, or the geese honking whenever anyone comes up to the house, and at this time of year the sound of harvesters and big rigs speeding down the road day and night. Life is certainly different from way back then, but really fun tuning into all that is happening around me.