WHEAT! is the working title of a project to document the vanishing family wheat farms of eastern Washington, in a part of the state called the Inland Empire.
FIRST ENTRY 9/06
In May, we documented the St. Helens String Quartet as they recorded Ken Benshoof's "8 Reflections on Swing Low," an amazing piece of music that I plan on using for this project. I was introduced to this adventurous group of young musicians when they played at our summer concert series in Snohomish. I made a short clip of that concert, which you can view
Our first entry got several hits from visitors googling "Roni Jo Mielke" -- so
I hope to add on a short clip of her graduation this past June from Harrington
High, soon, so as not to disappoint our visitors. "Veronica" as
she is listed in the Graduation Ceremony program, gave the Valedictorian Address
about hope; and she was awarded a whole list of scholarships, something unheard
of when her parents graduated with the same ceremony in the same room. Alicia, who graduated earlier
from the Interlochen Arts Academy, sat with her parents in the audience and we
can only imagine her thoughts while watching her former, life-long classmates parade through
the school gym and out into the bright, hot summer sun of eastern Washington's
Our weekend in the Harrington area also included a wonderful visit with Les LePere's Aunt Marge, his late mother's younger sister, and Uncle Dean who told us about the busy town of Harrington in the 1920s -- quite a contrast from the town's current woebegone appearance.
Then in August I visited the Central Washington Ag Museum in Union Gap, Washington
for their annual Antique Farm Equipment Expo where I got the stills on the
left of feeding the belt driven separator and a close up of how it takes four
hands these days to sew up a bag of grain. For the first time in living memory,
it rained on the Sunday of the Expo! So the Sony PD150 stayed locked up in
But this past Labor Day, I set my camera up in the middle of a small wheat field, under clear cerulean blue skys,
to capture a horse powered harvest demonstration by the Palouse Empire Threshing
Bee Association, near Colfax, Washington.
Please use the link on the left
to view a short clip of my time travel into the past of harvesting wheat.