Howe They Farmed — A Mother’s Memories

This is about the Howe family. In 1939, Carolyn Howe got married.  One of her wedding presents was a 16mm movie camera.  She took pictures of life around her in Falls Village, Connecticut. http://shirson.com/pineplainsvideos/howe/firstshots.mp4 As she became more interested she started experimenting with color and composition. http://shirson.com/pineplainsvideos/howe/improving.mp4 There is no telling where her talents could…Continue reading Howe They Farmed — A Mother’s Memories

Burger Night at the Farm

Chaseholm Farm held its last “Burger Night” event of the 2015 season. Oh, how I wish there were more! It a great combination of “scrumptious” burgers, the cows, the people and the music by Jim “Cowboy” Wright and his bluegrass band, The Hayrollers, just up the road in Ancramdale by way of Virginia. Well, see for yourself! Pine…Continue reading Burger Night at the Farm

Last Night at the Wild Hive

After a four year run, the Wild Hive Farm, Store & Café Bakery closed. I made this film on its last night to preserve how its customers celebrated its contribution to the community. I could ramble on about how much this place meant to me, but I think the film shows it. Every meal was…Continue reading Last Night at the Wild Hive

You Know It’s Spring When…

It’s time to shear the sheep! There are all sorts of signs of Spring, but I’ve picked this one to show on Pine Plains Views:  the annual sheep shearing on Black Sheep Hill farm. These American Black Welsh Mountain Sheep are special for many reasons not the least of which is that they decorate Route…Continue reading You Know It’s Spring When…

Making History

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?“ If an event happens in the past and is not, in some way, recorded or preserved, has it happened?  Is it history? History has to be made.  This is the story of how some people…Continue reading Making History

Spinning Squash at the Ag Fair

It’s a yearly tradition that I’ve been going to for years: the 2015 Ag Fair hosted by the Future Farmers of America at the high school in Pine Plains.   This year I was hoping to find something a little different to film.  But the parade started out as it does every year, with the school band, tractors, politicians, tractors, kids…Continue reading Spinning Squash at the Ag Fair

A Farrier? What’s That?

Here in northeast Dutchess County, it was dairy farms and we were the Milk Bottle of New York City. But the dairy farms closed and different animals were brought to graze our pastures — horses. Now we’re Horse Central. And along with the new animals came new people and traditions. And new trades. One of…Continue reading A Farrier? What’s That?

The Culture of Agriculture

The farmers may be leaving their farms and the farmland, even if preserved, may be left only as viewscape.  But a culture and tradition of agriculture remains.  Each year the Agriculture Fair, put on by the Future Farmers of America in Pine Plains, grows as an area attraction.

Food For Thought

Field work — literally — when Vassar College students milked cows, fed turkeys, picked fruit, mucked stalls and wrote ethnographies as part of an anthropology course.

Farming the Future

The 4- H Club dairy cow competition was a proud event for Pine Plains at the Dutchess County Fair. Gina Brooks and her brother, Patrick, showed two of her cows, a Brown Swiss and a Holstein, which she has been keeping in Barry Chase’s barn.

The Family Farm

This is about a dairy farmer, Barry Chase, who is about to sell his herd of milking cows. I visited with him and his wife, Rosey, a few days before their herd leaves.