Food doesn't just come from the grocery store. To help drive that point home, we sent everyday Americans out to the farm to work their first harvest. These are their stories about the experience, along with photographs and audio interviews taken while in the fields.

Harvest Series Featuring Sugarcane
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, my wife and I baked the season's first batch of Christmas cookies with our two-year-old son. Like most small children, he tried to pour the whole bag of sugar into the mix. Like most good parents, we said, "No," and cleaned up the mess he made.
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Harvest Series Featuring Corn
I ventured north past Amarillo to Dumas, Texas to meet with Dee Vaughan for my final harvest: corn. And if you think of the harvest as a giant ball, corn is this year's Cinderella. It's mid-October, and in Texas, that usually means the corn harvest is well underway. However, corn farmers in the Panhandle are delayed getting into the fields this year.
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Harvest Series Featuring Peanuts
I arrived in Seminole after a long drive from Dallas along a dark, two-lane highway in the rain. I'd been warned all along that if it rained, there would be no harvest—and though I'd been planning the trip for months, I couldn't predict the weather. I stopped to get some rest, and hoped for the best.
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Harvest Series Featuring Cotton
I started my trip driving west from Dallas on a rainy Monday. The skies were grey and the fields I passed were silent and largely empty. I thought to myself, I am here for the harvest, right? But by Wednesday morning, as I made my way north through West Texas, the scene was a lot different. It was the second day of sunshine in a rain-riddled region, and boy could you tell. The farms were buzzing with all kinds of equipment; it seemed the harvest had finally begun.
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Harvest Series Featuring Sugarbeets
The roads along the border of Minnesota and North Dakota are scattered with what look like concrete slabs with misplaced fans and farm equipment. But what may look like an eyesore to someone from the city is actually big business for rural communities in this region.
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Harvest Series Featuring Wheat
My initial notion of a wheat harvest wasn't too far removed from my grade school lessons of the first Thanksgiving enjoyed by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. What greeted me on Gary Wagner's property that he farms in partnership with his two brothers was something entirely different. One would have immediately guessed their location to be a computer lab instead of the biggest combine John Deere has on the market.
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