Many years ago I worked in a university office that subscribed to a number of farming magazines, some research-oriented, others more for family entertainment, and one of those magazines — I don’t remember which one — had a monthly feature called “The Prettiest Place in the Country.” Subscribers were encouraged to send in photographs and descriptions, nominating their own farms for recognition. I always turned to that feature first, and I still think of today, whenever I drive Eagle Highway past the farm in the photograph above, a farm I never fail to admire and appreciate.
I often call it (pointing it out to my husband, the Artist, as if for the first time) “the prettiest place” not for its scenic location or any fairy tale aspects of the house and grounds but because it is, overall, such a clearly prosperous and well-run place. Note the neatly painted buildings, wagons lined up in a row, and lush beautiful fields of hay and grain. I have always appreciated the diversity and attention to home economics represented by the tidy woodpile, small home orchard, and livestock that used to be pastured out behind the barns.
In every season of the year, you know you are looking at a place operated and maintained by a farmer who cares. To me, that’s beautiful.