As I was writing up my interview with Ethiopian farmers Birtukan Dagnachew Tegegn and Dadi Buta Bedada, I found myself surfing Google Earth, looking for images that would give me a sense of what life was like in their part of the world. I was happy to find this video, from the Perennial Plate, which is full of those images.
A couple things strike me about this. First, it’s beautiful: the landscape, the golden straw from the teff, the craftmanship apparent in the house with its built-in stove. Second, the work! Plowing with oxen, and separating those tiny grains from the chaff. Imagine what your calluses would be like after stripping seed heads by hand for a few days. I can understand why farmers would seek labor-saving technologies.