Fields of Hope is a photography farm project which turned into this book. It is a collection of images that celebrates farmers and their way of life. Its goal is to create a unified sequence of images to praise and honour their craft and to remind the world that what they do is extremely valuable and essential to our basic survival.
This book is a story of hope and transformation, a story of passion for the earth, and a promise that if treated with respect, it will give you life in return.
Through these images, I want the viewer to connect and see the extraordinary in the ordinary. But more than anything, it is important for the viewer to become immersed in the life of these unsung heroes. Ordinary people working with their bare hands, using traditional practices and being proud of what they do. People who firmly believe that taking care of our resources is essential and a priority.
We often forget that these people rely on the land for their livelihood while facing adversity every single day. We need to realize the importance of soil and water and of protecting the most basic of resources for production of quality produce. We all need to remember that farmers take huge risks for their livelihood. In organic farming especially, their skill, knowledge of the land, and “management” of the weather becomes a game of survival. It is a daily struggle to maintain healthy traditions, to protect resources and the environment from the challenges of globalization, competing technology, and large corporate agribusiness.
The people featured in this book here are among many farmers in the Thousand Islands region of Ontario, Canada, who focus on changing the way our food is produced. They work to create a local food system that is accessible to all—a food structure that is economically, socially, and ethically better. They don’t measure their wealth in dollars. They want to support food justice and promote sustainability; it is just the right thing to do. They would say that when we unite community with good food, our souls become rich.
I hope this book inspires you to support local farmers as a way of repaying what they have given us: good, healthy food and a strong sense of community. I hope this document conveys that there is hope of a better food supply, and that there are people out there committed to the wellbeing of this planet and its inhabitants.