My 4-H kid wanted to try his hand at photography this past year so I gave him a camera and let him go. He was 9-years-old when he took these shots and I was super curious to see what his photos would show. I schooled him a little on how to use the camera and what to look for when he was picking his subject. I begged him to make his photos interesting. The rest was entirely up to him.
Grayson taking his shots for his 4-H photography contest.
Grayson didn’t use all these photos in the contest. He did win several first place awards with a few of them though and I wanted to share some of our favorites with you. Here goes…
A Southwest Florida cowboy and his horse.
Resting Florida cowboys.
The photos are all from a child’s perspective, but I have to add commentary to them. I can’t help myself.
The following photo looks like an environmental nightmare. However, the plant has a Department of Environmental Protection office right on their property. When the smoke gets thick, they immediately take action to lessen it. It was particularly thick when Grayson shot this photo. There was hardly any smoke (and a boring photo) just a few minutes later. Southern Garden Citrus has 3 million orange trees that absorb 613,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year. They use predator insects for pest control and only use chemical methods on particular trees when necessary. Their orange groves provide habitat for lots of wildlife such as fish, birds and deer… and too many wild hogs. They don’t discard any part of the orange. The pulp, skin and oil are all used for products. Florida is the 2nd largest producer of oranges in the world, (Brazil is 1st, but it’s a fact that Florida oranges are juicier).
Southern Gardens orange juice plant. The third largest in the nation.
Organic Florida farm. The sugarcane is planted as a wind break.
Organic Florida farm truck.
I hesitated to post the following photo. All political views and solutions aside, this is how the food gets to most tables. We have to grow more food. Most countries consume more than they produce. According to an agent at the University of Florida IFAS office, there is expected to be 30-50 billion people on the planet by 2050. Food will become a scarce commodity. Out of the 7 billion people on the planet, 1 billion of them are starving right now. How do we keep up with the food production? It would be detrimental to the U.S. to rely on foreign food production.
Grayson’s perspective is that this guy gets to garden and get paid for it. (I think I need to have Grayson pull more weeds). The dust in this field on the day Grayson took this photo was unbearable.
A very hard job.
Sugar cane fields behind the U.S. Sugar Corporation in South Florida.
A controlled fire in the sugarcane fields of Clewiston, Florida. Planting begins in late August.
Sugarcane can live, and is productive, for 4-5 years on good mulch soils before it is replanted. In Florida, rice is grown in rotation with sugarcane. 51% of sugar comes from cane and 49% comes from sugar beet. Sugarcane used to be sprayed with nasty chemicals several times a year to control a pest called the cane borer. However, a small wasp (called Cotesia) was brought in and it kills the sugar cane borer. So, sugarcane is not sprayed with chemicals for pests anymore. They do spray a fungicide though. They’re working on new varieties that will not be as susceptible to disease and will have increased production… probably genetically modified, which I am against.
Florida is the nation’s largest producer of sugarcane with over 400,000 acres. Did you know the average American eats (or drinks) 67 pounds of sugar a year? Florida is also the #1 producer of sweet corn, watermelon, bell peppers and snap beans.
Morning on the Caloosahatchee River.
This is our six-toed urban farm cat. He uses those paws like hands.
Grayson's honeybees coming home.
Our Labradoodle and LaMancha (paws and hoofs).... best friends.
Come grow with us!