The Face of Farming
Kathleen Buckalew spent parts of the past six years canvassing the state interviewing and photographing local farmers. Some of these folks still make their living off the land while others have passed on. But one fact is evident as we enjoy these portraits: The disappearing faces of Delaware farming will always be with us thanks to Buckalew’s dedication and talent.
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Edited by Drew Ostroski
Wilmington native Kathleen Buckalew is the staff photographer for Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington. She exhibits throughout the Mid-Atlantic, and also in other parts of the United States. Buckalew was named the McKinstry Scholar by the Delaware Heritage Commission in 2005, for her continuing work on her project of documenting farmers in Delaware. The project is now in its sixth year, and she is in the process of making it into a book. For more information on Buckalew and her work, visit buckalewphotography.com.
Viola and Carolyn Palo
Newark, emus and shiitake mushrooms
Viola: “I wanted to keep this as a farm because this is my home. This is my way of life and it keeps me moving. Otherwise, I’d shrivel up in the rocking chair.”
Carolyn: “I’d like to continue to farm as long as it’s something I can still enjoy doing, and am physically able to do. After that, I don’t want to fix anything ever again! What keeps me going is the satisfaction of seeing something completed. I love living on the land and I love the animals.”
Frankford, peach orchardist
“I grew up here, on land that my great-grandparents live on and worked. I loved the freedom of it, that there was always something to do. I can go anywhere in the country and say that I’m in agriculture and they trust me. Here in Delaware, there is no good land ethic. There is only the ethic of greed and ignorance: greed to get as much money as possible from the land, and ignorance about not being aware of what a piece of land could be, what it could produce.”
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