Nice essay at Powells.com by Lisa Hamilton on writing her book, Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness (excerpt follows):
I've learned that, to write about farmers, one must ... slow down to that rhythm of repetition. The writer must sit in the combine as it chugs along in concentric circles, taking hours to close in on the center of the field, only to pick up, move to the next field, and do it all over again. Being witness means a willingness to pass the same barn or tree or fencepost two dozen times and continually try to learn something new about it.
In a sense, it is the same process by which the best farmers survive. Their success comes not from knowing all the answers already nor from demanding them of the land, but rather from simply being a witness to the world around them. They must resist the dulled vision that comes with familiarity, and instead see the world with enough depth to notice its smallest changes.