Sunday, July 25, 2010

Drawn to the Land: The Romance of Farming by Elizabeth J. Cockey and Barton M. Cockey

Drawn to the Land: The Romance of Farming by Elizabeth J. Cockey and Barton M. Cockey. Bridgeway Books. June 2010. Hb. 48 pp. ISBN #:978-1934454404.

Farming is solidly strong, a career and passion cherished by generations of families who exemplify the finest qualities of those who love the land and produce its crops with tender, loving care. The authors here spotlight multiple farms that raise different types of animals and crops throughout the seasons, ranging from sheep, chickens, cows, bees, corn, cider, grapes, wine, maple syrup, organic vegetables, and more.

But what is unique about this book is the deep-seated love of the land, depicted in quaint, beautiful paintings presented with each topic, pictures transformed from photographs to paintings that truly depict the peaceful, colorful landscape with its farms and animals.

The metaphor of growth and renewal is continuously stated and inferred, a process that is as often fraught with difficulties due to weather, prices, taxes, and more but always handled with a realistic and practical equanimity that transcends rather than survives whatever challenges may arise with each year’s unpredictable cycle. These are hardy families who never give up hope.

While many are abandoning farming for more lucrative careers, a whole new generation is returning to the love and “responsible stewardship” of this land in upstate New York.

The authors have presented readers with the history, practices, motivation, confident attention and hard but loved work that has made this entire area a historical, abundantly productive, and aesthetically pleasing landscape celebrated so wonderfully in this very small but oh so significant text. Very nicely done!

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