Harvesting Wheat on the Blackland Prairie

During the years I’ve been back in Texas, photographing harvest times has been a wonderful way to spend my time.   Our rich Blackland Prairie soil is nearly-perfect for area farmers.   The one harvest I’ve not documented has been wheat.  For several weeks on my wanderings the wheat crops either hadn’t been harvested or the work was done.   Last week, however, I drove a little further into the countryside.  In Bell County I found the Martinka family hard at work one Saturday evening.   Alan Martinka, pictured in the opening photo (his cap is wonderful!) welcomed me to take all the photos I wanted.  Since they were finishing for the night, they invited me back the following Monday.  These photos are from that day of harvesting.  Other members of the family, all Martinkas, included Phillip, Matt, Jacob and Dave.   The family has been working fields in both Bell and Williamson County for generations.   This year they’ve planted 1400 acres of wheat, but even more corn.  But this post is about wheat.   It’s a beautiful thing to see.   In the almost ten years we’ve been home, I’ve watched as this land has been overrun by development.    It’s happening all around Taylor.   Thankfully, the Martinka family continues to enjoy some of the best space anywhere in Central Texas.

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