The family farm is almost quaint at this point in time. So many small farms have gone the way of the horse and buggy: gone but not forgotten. Hansen Farms, of Gray, Maine was first my grandfather's. One year, he forgot to buy a gift for Gyda, my grandmother. He must have been quite upset with himself. As Grandma told it, he asked her what she wanted. She straightened up in the middle of the field and looked around. It was September, and the harvest was in full swing. "You could always give me the farm" was her half joking answer as she returned to her row of carrots. That was the first parcel of the farm to go - he gave her the farmhouse and all of the "in town" property which included a packing plant and several fields they used for cabbages. She remained in the family farmhouse until after his death in 1972. The larger farm property passed to my dad who had been the manager of the farm since the early 1960's. He eventually stopped farming and leased the property. Eventually the farm sold - with a handshake and a signature on a legal document, the family farm was no longer our family's farm, and now it is used to grow sod.
Things do come full circle, though. My brother recently remodeled his home, and the tractors tore up holes in his yard and left a muddy mess. He and his wife had no patience left, and didn't want to wait a season for a lawn to be seeded, so they bought a pallet of sod... and realized as they were unrolling it onto their new lawn that it had come from Gray- Hansen Farm. How wonderful to have a bit of the family farm in my brother's back yard.
Today at 3:53pm I put the last stitch into Farmlands: my signature is now a part of one of the fields. I hope the new owners enjoy their farm as much as I have enjoyed making it.