The Last Harvest (Hardcover)

Truck Farmers in the Deep South

By Perry Dilbeck, Tom Rankin (Other)

Center for American Places, 9781930066496, 100pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2007

List Price: 32.50*
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Perry Dilbeck's black-and-white photographs affectionately document the disappearing livelihood of the southern truck farmer. Small and independent operators, truck farmers typically own fewer than forty acres of land and sell their vegetables and fruits at roadside stands or local farmers' markets. In recent years, the rise of large-scale commercial farming coupled with overdevelopment, which swallows up farmland daily, has greatly diminished this traditional business.

To honor these farmers, Dilbeck chose to photograph them with a Holga, the simplest of plastic cameras. The Holga was first produced in 1982 as an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class Chinese, who used them for family portraits or at family events. The sometimes surprising effects of the Holga, including vignetting and blurring, have popularized it with fine-art photographers.

Dilbeck, who formed close relationships with the farmers he portrays, always carried a tape recorder with him. The farmers' stories and memories, which are quoted in the book, are filled with the same pride and dignity that come through in Dilbeck's photographs. The farmers' faces show signs of a vigorous life. Dilbeck's images also show the vibrant stamp of the men's presence on the landscape: their garden plots, their antique machinery, and their homes and outbuildings. A culmination of more than ten years of work, The Last Harvest pays tribute to the dignity of local ways in the face of globalism and urban expansion.

About the Author

Perry Dilbeck has been an instructor of photography at the Art Institute of Atlanta since 1998. His photographs have been published worldwide in leading journals of photography, and they have been collected and exhibited across the United States. Dilbeck was recently awarded an artist sponsorship from Blue Earth Alliance in Seattle, Washington.

Praise For The Last Harvest: Truck Farmers in the Deep South

"Dilbeck’s plastic camera images are reverential even in their darkest corners, his entire bo--Tom Rankin, from the Conclusion

"Like the finest of the FSA master photographers of the 1930s, Perry Dilbeck has looked to the land to tell the story of a people attempting to survive another era of change. His photographs can stir memories and emotions and most significantly take us down a road that we may not know but all are travelling."--Roy L. Flukinger, Research Curator of Photography, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin

"This is the kind of intimate and detailed looking we have come to appreciate in the work of the great FSA photographers. It is personal and it has meaning to be that close to another person's life and work (which is not a commonplace practice in contemporary photography these days). The book creates a lyrical reference to time and place that is beautiful in its attention and useful in its form. Dilbeck's truck farmers come to us whole and through that we can perhaps learn something about how to fit into the world.”--William Wylie, University of Virginia

"I wish there were a way for Perry to photograph every farmer in Georgia. The Last Harvest is a touching and fitting tribute."--Tommy Irvin,

"In this world of smooth hands and fast food, Dilbeck's exquisite, honest images make us yearn for the days when our ancestors had time to watch the seasons bring forth their bounties; time to tell stories and linger with family and neighbors; and time to watch the sun set."--Debbie Fleming Caffery, Photographer, Santa Fe, New Mexico

"From the moment I laid eyes on this book I fell in love with the softness of the photos and the tenderness of the approach to the subject. Dilbeck affectionately documents the diminishing world of small independent truck farming . . . allowing the reader to see the hidden and subtle moments. . . . The design of the book allows the images to speak for themselves and reiterates the theme throughout - the simplest things are often the best. The whole book is an enchanting insight into a world that may otherwise have been forgotten."--Black & White Photography

"Dilbeck's lyrical images give the impression of a look into the past . . ."--Black & White Magazine

"The Last Harvest pays tribute to the dignity of local ways in the face of globalism and urban expression."--Photo Life