Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt
So. The very first thing that came to mind was “amber waves of grain.” from America the Beautiful.
I grew up in southern Minnesota, We trekked to Colorado now and then to visit relatives, so I was very familiar with the endless fields of corn, wheat, sorghum and other things I can’t remember. I do remember the smell of pea silage when all the farmers in the area were doing that task.
Grain is such an important food source, as well as having many uses in manufacturing and scientific research. But that’s all not very interesting if you’re not a farmer, nutritionist, or scientist, so I’ll move on 🙂
Grain fields are truly beautiful. The color of the ripe wheat, ready for harvesting, is truly golden. My sister and I used to spend a couple of weeks on an Iowa farm in the summer, and I remember the distinct aroma of the grain as it poured down a chute from the harvester. An endless stream of gold, with chaff blowing in the wind, it had an earthy smell.
For the 47 years of my marriage, I have baked our bread. For a while, we bought whole wheat which I would grind in my KitchenAid with a special attachment for the purpose. I was rewarded, during the grinding, with that same earthy, summery smell. And then again, when the bread started to rise and bake, a rich yeasty smell would make my mouth water for the first slice off the new loaf.
America has long been a breadbasket for other parts of the world. We have been blessed with our abundance. One of the most devastating things about the Depression era in the 1930’s was the drought and the terrible dust storms that devastated the farmers, followed by swarms of locusts that ate every tiny bit of greening wheat from the fields. I was born in 1947, so I don’t remember all that. My parents did, though, and they never quite got past the need to know that there was food in the pantry and water running freely from the faucet. If you’ve ever wondered why many of the people who lived through that period of our history turned into hoarders, it’s really not that complicated. They had so little, and it was necessary to preserve anything they did have. You never knew when you could get more.
Oh beautiful, for spacious skies; for amber waves of grain. For purple mountains’ majesty across the fruited plain. America! America! God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!”