Resilient Americana: Hard Work: Cows and Crops at JG Ranch Farm, Brooksville, Florida is a Hybrid VR Painting™ by Dave Alber.
acrylic on Canson paper and panoramic VR technology
22 x 10.75 in (56 x 27 cm)
Hard Work: Cows and Crops at JG Ranch Farm, Brooksville, Florida explores the American virtue of hard work in small town America.
With the convenience of supermarkets, it’s easy to take for granted the hard work of the farmers who grow and harvest our vegetables. Amongst sturdy farmers, in a life lived by the sweat of the brow, a connection to the soil and each season’s subtleties is a necessity. Rain, wind, heat, cold, and humidity all inform the senses of a farmer trained since childhood to read these subtle messages from nature.
Reflecting on farming in American history, whether we think of Native American agriculture, Jefferson’s ideas of an agrarian republic, or the farming of the Great Plains after the Homestead Act of 1862, the cultivation of the land has been a fundamental American experience. In 18th century Florida, both Seminole and Spanish farmers cultivated a variety of rich crops. From then to now, sweet and sour citrus fruits have been a favorite Florida crop.
Nature has its own rhythm and pace, Jeff Casey told me in my visit to JG Ranch Farm in Brooksville. Farming requires the self-reliance to live off the land, the mental strength to handle repetitive tasks requiring long stretches of isolation, and a special intuitive judgment of attuning yourself to nature’s timeline. “It’s not what you want from your farm,” Casey told me, “It’s what nature is willing to give.”