While wandering through Ribatejo, near Santarém, on a beautiful late winter afternoon in 2015, I saw this beautiful landscape - a field sown with cereals, which I tried to capture with a small point-and-shoot camera. The seeds had recently germinated, and the little plants formed a beautiful light green mat, contrasting with the brown limestone soil.
Today, all the work is done by machines - ploughing and levelling the soil and sowing the seeds- but we cannot help thinking about the gigantic work that, some decades ago, a field of cereal represented. The poem "The Sowers" by the great Brazilian poet Machado de Assis (1839-1908) was written at a time when agricultural work was done with human manual effort only assisted by our great "friends" farm animals, cows, horses, donkeys, came to mind.
The first two stanzas followed this invocation: "You who today harvest, across these wide fields, / The sweet fruit and the flower, / Will you forget the harsh and bitter / Times of the Sower? // Rough was the ground; rugged and long that day; / However, these heroes / Knew how to resist in the arduous contest / To the storms and the sun.".
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor