The Last Harvest: Truck Farmers in the Deep South

The Last Harvest: Truck Farmers in the Deep South




Perry Dilbeck's black-and-white photographs affectionately document the disappearing livelihood of the southern truck farmer. Small and independent operators, truck farmers typically own fewer than forty acres of land and sell their vegetables and fruits at roadside stands or local farmers' markets. In recent years, the rise of large-scale commercial farming coupled with overdevelopment, which swallows up farmland daily, has greatly diminished this traditional business.

To honor these farmers, Dilbeck chose to photograph them with a Holga, the simplest of plastic cameras. The Holga was first produced in 1982 as an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class Chinese, who used them for family portraits or at family events. The sometimes surprising effects of the Holga, including vignetting and blurring, have popularized it with fine-art photographers.

Dilbeck, who formed close relationships with the farmers he portrays, always carried a tape recorder with him. The farmers' stories and memories, which are quoted in the book, are filled with the same pride and dignity that come through in Dilbeck's photographs. The farmers' faces show signs of a vigorous life. Dilbeck's images also show the vibrant stamp of the men's presence on the landscape: their garden plots, their antique machinery, and their homes and outbuildings. A culmination of more than ten years of work, The Last Harvest pays tribute to the dignity of local ways in the face of globalism and urban expansion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781930066496
Publisher: The Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago
Publication date: 11/25/2006
Series: Center Books on the American South Series
Pages: 364
Product dimensions: 6.75(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

Perry Dilbeck has been an instructor of photography at the Art Institute of Atlanta since 1998. His photographs have been published worldwide in leading journals of photography, and they have been collected and exhibited across the United States. Dilbeck was recently awarded an artist sponsorship from Blue Earth Alliance in Seattle, Washington.

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