By Michèle Coppin
In spring and summer, the countryside comes alive with the chirping of birds, the buzzing of insects and the low hum of those beautiful green and yellow tractors.
This is the season for John Deeres to go back to work after a long winter's rest. I love watching these powerful machines plowing the fields like giant toys, sturdy and American as the flag.
The story of John Deere, the man who developed the world's first commercially successful self-scouring steel plow, closely parallels the settlement and development of the Midwestern United States, an area the homesteaders of the 19th century considered the Golden Land.
No one really knows why John Deere tractors are green and yellow. The earliest illustration of John Deere equipment with the green and yellow color scheme is of a plow in the 1905 Deere and Weber catalog.
I think Mr. Deere was inspired by the ground under his feet: yellow flowers, green grass and weeds. What a wonderful choice, as the green and yellow combination is reminiscent of nature. It is fresh, fun and totally unexpected for machinery.
This palette from "color lovers" speaks of spring and illustrates perfectly the John Deere colors.
My fondness for tractors has led me to read a very good book entitled, "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian," Marina Lewycka. This novel is a comic look at family bonds and a vehicle for social satire. The surprisingly fascinating and philosophical history of tractors interweaves throughout the text, a true delight and a wonderful summer read.