Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Silage

My life in appalachia silage

Farmers in Brasstown have been busy cutting silage. The dump trucks used to haul the silage have sprinkled the roads with yellow and brown confetti.

I have ridiculously enjoyed passing the trucks-seeing them being filled by the tractor-watching the tiny pieces blow about the highway-and having my eyes surprised when they take in the expansive view of cleared fields that have been covered by silage since mid summer.

Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I know they’re storing up for winter and I’m already hoping for a big snow. Maybe it’s because I see them working-being productive. Or maybe it’s because I have a soft spot for all truck drivers since Pap was one for so long.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    steve in tn
    November 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

    i like to see it grow but there is something refreshing about seeing it cleared and ready to start again. the view opens up and you can see things you missed all summer.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    November 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Tipper: I drove down a road just like you describe here.(Settawig Road)There we found a special home place and visited briefly with a wonderful lady OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD! As we drove through the fields, they reminded me of long ago when my brothers would help our neighbor ‘tend the hay’ and then the fields looked like they were ready for snow!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    spachil ed
    November 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    iv got a soft spot two. myns is on top uv my head. moma sed it wuz thare when ius born. she sed we all wus born thattaway butt sum uv us’s spachill an git too keep it all hour lifes.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    November 7, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Earlier today I heard something on
    our local radio station that you
    might like hearing. A guy was telling about cracking a persimmon
    nut open and found the design of a
    shovel inside, a sign that we’d be
    shoveling lots of SNOW this winter.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 7, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Around here the farmers don’t grow silage. They grow corn, wheat and soybeans. When they harvest the grain they grind up the stalks, stems, shucks and stuff as they go. Their combine spits it out the back onto the ground. If there is airy bit of wind that stuff gets blowed all over the neighborhood. They go right back in behind the combine and plant the next crop. They never plow. They just open the ground enough to get the seeds in. I think they call it no till farming.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 7, 2013 at 10:32 am

    and this is for Cindy!…Cindy you know I love you for you love Tipper…butttt,
    Cindy, could you please tell me which end of the cow the shoes come from?
    PS….All I can see in my mind is a cow with a sign hanging around her neck that sez…”Eat More Chicken!”

  • Reply
    November 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

    The summer corn, maize, and cotton are all harvested within a month of each. After the cattle are allowed to feed on the remains, everything that’s left is disked in and the ground and the soil lies in wait for autumn rains. We’ve had some very welcome and good rain this fall and the earth eagerly soaked them up. Guess in your part of the country it’s the snows it thirsts for.
    In any case, many folks think of winter as an ending but it’s really just the earth taking R&R.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Wouldn’t it be fun to go right smack dab in the middle of that there big old cleared field and have a big bon fire and weenie roast? All the hay wagons loaded with folks, the wagons circling around the field. One wagon carrying the plywood planks put together on and leveled for dancing…Hay bales thrown over to the side of a loaded wagon for sit-downs and howdys…The Blind pig band playing “Cotton Eyed Joe” and a big plywood on hay bale picnic table with apple cider hot choco late and zinc tubs with iced cokes….
    What time does it start!
    Thanks Tipper,
    Loved this post…
    PS….I’ll bring the mustard and a homemade jar of relish!…Ohhhh, and the marshmellows…LOL

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 7, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I remember driving my uncle’s truck under a silage chopper behind his tractor when I was about 14. We were chopping green feed corn and what I remember about it was that by the time we made the 20-minute trip from the field that he leased to his barn, the silage was already fermenting and smelling like sour mash. I think that in the winter, his cows were very contented!!

  • Reply
    Marc Kruger
    November 7, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Here in Wisconsin this time of year as fields of corn are harvested, some of the husks will be seen on the roads. After the harvest, geese on their way south will glean the fields for a meal to go.

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    November 7, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Maybe you are just joyous at each new day and the gifts brought with it.
    I love you much my friend.

  • Reply
    November 7, 2013 at 8:16 am

    The trucks in this area seem to keep their silage in the field. Maybe the road I use to leave my home is so used that there isn’t time to leave any on the roadway. When I see this scene each year, it reminds me that its time for living things grown in the fields to go for a long winder’s sleep.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 7, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Snow is always anticipated as the weather starts to turn. there is nothing quite a peaceful.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 7, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Tipper, I think it represents a way of life that we love. It’s part of the big circle…we plant the corn to feed the cows, the cows give us milk, butter, meat, and shoes. It’s the way of life and the circle that we know. The silage also represents the end of this growing season and the beginning of the winter dormant season.
    Lots of stuff represented by those trucks of silage.

  • Reply
    William Dotson
    November 7, 2013 at 7:15 am

    I didn’t remember Pap being a truck driver but being an ex truck driver for so many years I would bet you that he misses it, I know I do. I loved driving a truck because the first vehicle I drove was our old farm truck an I have driven a lot of different trucks, I drove a beer truck for the longest period (20+)years and an 18 wheeler for a while and if it hadn’t been for going on insulin would have driven it longer, but I sure miss driving a truck and bet Pap does also.

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