Discovering the fine lines and sensual shapes of agriculture
In my corporate workshops, I always encourage executives to take an alternate route to work — literally and metaphorically. The benefits from veering “off course” are staggering — and they are anything but “off.”
It’s quite an imposing task to fight our nature — always seeking out the familiar — but once you break the habit, you’ll find you can’t stop exploring. Taking that fresh path can fill your head with inspiring thoughts and images — which can later lead to quite a stream of useful ideas.
One of my favorite Southern California jaunts supplies me with an abundance of these little visual treats. On the way from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, there’s a sweet series of agriculturally rich, freeway adjacent farmland, from Camarillo to Oxnard. Decades of tilling, harvesting, fertilizing and irrigating have left what I suspect are storied remnants of a struggling farming industry. I wallow in the bold, weathered, rust-covered shapes and structures that line these back roads.
Strawberries, raspberries, and celery grow here. Locals take pride in their produce. But I just stop and stare at what the growing and picking seasons leave behind. Harvesters, tillers, dilapidated sheds… and in-your-face graffiti art that mocks or mirrors the landscape it treads. Next time you take the alternate route — don’t overlook the possibility that a roadside farm can be fertile ground for more than your recommended daily allowance of fresh fruit.
Photos by Josh Kaplan