Wednesday, July 23, 2014

farmer dan

"...He just takes the tractor another round
And pulls the plow across the ground
And sends up another prayer.
He says, 'Lord I never complain, I never ask why,
But please don't let my dream run dry
Underneath this
[Prince Edward County] sky.' " 
-Jason Aldean


For the first time in nearly five years, a Dykstra has cut, raked, and baled hay on Cherrie Side Farms. Since my dad's illness and eventual passing in 2010, we have rented out our farmland to two local farmers. Now, 58 years to the day that my grandfather first arrived on this farm, my "little" brother decided to continue the family legacy.
With some encouragement, he took it upon himself to ready the machinery, and then proceed to cut, rake, and bale a field of hay this year.  I was am still bursting with pride that this shy, quiet, gentle-giant-of-a-brother chose to take a leap of faith and embark on a new adventure. 

Watching this part of him come fully alive while on the tractor, was enough for this big sister to get a little misty-eyed. In case you can't already tell, I love this kid and I'm so ridiculously proud of how far he's come in the past few years. 

He's a look at the whole process through the lens of my camera:

Checking everything over on the haybine before heading out.
First round.
A beautiful sight.
Nothing quite like a freshly-cut field of hay!

The rake stands ready.
First round.
Raking the windrows to get the bottom grass dry.

His first bale!
A watchful eye.
A born farmer!
Loading up before the rain.
Brothers at work.

We got the hay in before the rain, and true to form, my brother gave away the whole truckload to a neighbour in need. Now that he's shown everyone (including himself) what he can accomplish, we are excited to see what next summer will bring. 

Thank you to those of you who have encouraged him along the way. Your support means so much!

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