The Last Harvest, Truck Farmers in the Deep South

The Last Harvest: Truck Farmers in the Deep South (Center Books on the American South Ser.) (University of Georgia Press, $32.50) is a poignant collection of pictures capturing small-scale farmers in author Perry Dilbeck‘s hometown of McDonough, Georgia. Once a small town of roadside vegetable stands, McDonough is now another sprawling suburb of Atlanta. Dillbeck tells the story of 13 different farmers and their farms, some with only two or three acres left. Alton Alexander was born in Henry County, Georgia in 1937 and was raised growing soybeans and wheat. “Now, I just sell a tiny bit of Mississippi sidewinder peas, cantaloupe and corn to help ends meet,” he says. “The government took everything I owned [for a highway] and left me with just a few acres of land.” Sadly, his is not an unusual story. Dillbeck photographs these farmers (all over 75) plowing their fields, picking their crops and setting up shop at the local farmer’s market. The book reminds us of a time when farming was a way of life, not a dying art. —Kathleen O”Neill