Amber waves of grain grace not only the Great Plains and the rural Midwest of America.  In Louisiana rice country, amber waves of  rice fields, ripe for harvest, stretch across the prairie, often as far as the eyes can see, this harvest time of year.  The old Cajuns called this season IMG_1610la récolte, thebusiest and most make-or-break season of the year.

We’re in that energetic season now.  On our trips to Lafayette each week since winter, we’ve watched the phases of the agricultural process unfold since early spring: barren expanses of  soil prepared for flooding and planting morphed into flooded lakes to nurture the seed; in March and April after the fields were drained, we saw the tender green shoots of the rice seedlings beginning to sprout; as the stands of rice flourished  and matured into late spring and early summer, the fields turned lush with the richest shade of  green this side of paradise; crop dusting planes like acrobatic bumble bees zoomed and darted across the fields applying herbicides and pesticides; then as we got into June, tinges of gold began to mingle with the green as we noticed from week to week that the fields were turning shades, from green to green-golden to golden-green and now, this time of late July, solid gold!  The acres spreading away to the far reaches of the prairie are as pretty as any wheat field at harvest that I’ve ever seen.

Now on these hottest-days-of-summer, la récolte is under way at full force: combines and heavy tractors towing trailers laden with the freshly-cut grain lumber across the fields, reaping the literal fruits of the planters’ labor.  What a blessing to witness this agricultural cycle in the splendid great outdoors of the Cajun prairie, to see and learn and appreciate where food comes from and how much is involved in the process!

We are blessed to live in such a region.