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“On the Seventh Day He Rested”

It was Sunday morning and we just finished the last quart of strawberries that I had purchased earlier in the week at one of the Old Order Mennonite farms that dot the area around Gorham, NY. I decided that I had better buy another quart of their strawberries before the season ends as these berries were the best that I have ever tasted. But when I arrived, the farm stand was empty! Of course, it was Sunday and and if you read the creation of the earth as set forth in the first and second Chapter of Genesis, “he (God) rested on the seventh day from all his work.” And so these people take their rest on Sunday too.

I drove around the area near Gorham, NY where we live in the Finger Lakes, taking pictures of all of the crops in the fields. To me there is something beautiful about a field of corn where all of the plants are uniform in height and the rows are straight as an arrow.  It was his corn fields that pleased my father the most. Those straight rows of corn which were brought about with the help of a two row corn planter and a wire stretched from one end of the field to the other which triggered the planter to drop the kernels of corn in hills. Of course today, the corn rows are kept straight by the use of on board GPS and the number of kennels of corn per foot dropped in the row is controlled by computer!

Further down the hill, the heifers and the calves were enjoying the warm morning sunshine as they peered out of the barn. Even though it was Sunday, they knew that they would be taken care of today with plenty of feed to eat and water to drink. But their owner would not be working in the fields today as it was Sunday.

June is hay making time in the Finger Lakes and it also was in Wayne County, Ohio where I grew up. It was important that the local schools finished up before the end of May as most male farm boys were needed in the fields come hay making time. Different techniques are used today in the Finger Lakes to bale hay for the cattle in the winter months: round bales which weight more than a ton, very large rectangular bales which not even Paul Bunyan could lift, and the small “kicker bales” which are ejected from the bailer and shot into a wagon so one man can do the entire job. Still hay making is hard work and it always has to be done on the hottest of July days.

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