Lately, my sister and I have re-visited a favorite story of ours, taking place in post-World War I farming Minnesota. "Sweet Land" is a lovely film based on the short story "A Gravestone Made of Wheat" by present-day American author Will Weaver and features a proverbial "Norwegian bachelor farmer." Olaf would like to marry Inge who has good recommendations from his parents in the old country. However, Inge is originally from Germany, and the town's anti-German sentiment left over from the war thwarts Olaf and Inge's marrying.
If you like authors such as Willa Cather and Edna Ferber, you will like this farm story. As frustrating as the young couple's predicament is, the story has a delicate sensitivity and is gently funny at moments. And, the photography of the film is luminous! The story made me consider again "What does it mean to be American?" For me, there are few things more American than the pure and orderly life that I believe is on a farm, and "A Gravestone Made of Wheat" lends to my idealization:
For [Olaf] realized there was, after all, a certain order to the events and times of his life: all things he had worked for and loved were now nearly present.
Using the "Sweet Land" story as inspiration, Autumn dresses in cranberry-colored wool. I love the wheat-colored threads running through the tweed fabric of the straight dress that Autumn smartly makes to be a sort of jumper by wearing a top underneath. The proportions of this outfit are just right, as the skirt is short--but not too short--and Autumn's shirt has elbow-length sleeves.
No sunglasses atop Autumn's head? No, not for these serious clothes. Autumn uses a headband to keep her hair orderly. Notice the two brass button detail at the front of Autumn's dress that works well with the tailored-looking backpack purse.
The October 2008 Vogue seems to admire farm life, too. Look at these pictures, taken in a pastoral setting, of model Isabeli Fontana with her son and brother.
Coming-up at my library, we're having a local author speak, who writes about farming history, and to help get the word out, I am having a table at the nearby farmers' market this weekend.