March Farms, Bethlehem, Connecticut © Steven Willard
Just north of Woodbury is the small (even smaller than Woodbury) town of Bethlehem. We share the same school district and their high school kids come down to Woodbury to attend our school which has a very good vocational and agricultural department. It’s easy to forget with all the talk about the cost of tuition for colleges one hears these days, that there are still a fair number of young people who want to make their living off the land. I’m not sure when it became necessary for a young man or woman to go to college to earn a degree in animal husbandry or integrated pest management, or for that matter a degree in business administration in order to take over the family farm. It seems to me that it would be difficult enough to make a living on a farm without having to pay off a huge student loan on top of everything else. So far the people at March Farms seem to be making it all work, but it can’t be easy.
Every year since I moved here I have enjoyed driving up to get some apples in the fall and to simply enjoy the view. In winter it has always reminded me of a Currier and Ives print. Here in New England we don’t have the endless views of the Plains States, or the dramatic Rocky Mountains as a backdrop for our daily lives. What we do have, are the rolling hills which I feel are much more in scale to the people who live here. They are comfortable, almost cozy in their size and shape. They aren’t so tall as to block the sky or impose a barrier, and yet they seem to set limits; as if to say, “That’s about as far as I could walk in a day”. Maybe that’s why I have felt comfortable from the very beginning since moving here. It has always felt just about right.
Pentax K0 D with kit zoom. processed with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 in Photoshop CS4.