kind-of-backward, running from my baking shift
down to the farmer’s in Easthampton. Harvesting the
winter wheat today, down by the Manhan River. Bottom-
land -so bottom spots got flooded out this Spring.

combines combine a reaper and a thresher. This one’s
as old as I am -cost $2000, with shipping- from
somewhere in Upstate New York. Has a big steering wheel
like a school bus, but a seat right off a tractor. Ron looks
happy and confident up there. I jump on and its a bumpy
ride. The tines are twirling on their octagonal arms and
the clippers are clipping the straw. Behind us the wheat berries
are spat out of the auger into the hopper. This augers well.

you can tell it’s organic farming, what with the proliferation
of horsetail, not to mention daisies. Beautiful wildflowers -I guess
we’ll eat them. Overhead a hawk is circling, hoping we’ll chase a
rabbit out into the field. Two white moths fly unharmed through
the rotating mouth of the machine. Ron shouts,

“This is pretty good! I thought the rain would never stop!”

my flour-covered shoes have gained a coating of chaff. After
gobbling the acres, we shudder to a stop.

Can’t stop running your hands through it. Picking out Japanese
beetles. Biting down on a seed, it’s pretty dry and hard. This is good.

Still moving backwards, we’re pouring scoops into used flour bags. Paper’s good for storage now. What’s the name of this