Friday, December 4, 2009

Thesis Beginnings

Please forgive my long absence from the blogosphere! I've spent the last three months delving into my thesis project, in which I am photographing small communities and families practicing sustainable food production in Western NY.

In earlier projects, such as 100 Soup Cans, after Warhol, I worked to create photographs that critique the mainstream American food industry. Rather than continue with this critique, I am turning to focus on the positive actions being made by individuals and communities to carry on such traditions as gardening, baking, and cheese making. Interested in the Slow Food and Locavore movements, my research has revealed that the greater Rochester region contains a powerful community of groups and individuals practicing local food production. With my thesis, I am entering this community to meet people with similar food interests, to document their actions and to create images that reveal methods of eating that are alternative to convenience foods. The project will culminate in an art show, planned for fall 2010.

Throughout the next several days, I will post images from the project, highlighting the communities and individuals that I have had the great pleasure to meet and photograph thus far.

And without further ado, meet Farmer Erin, founder of Mud Creek Farm, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) located in Victor, NY. The farm just finished its first year and plans have begun for the 2010 season. To hear more about the farm and its beginnings, listen to an archived interview from Michael Warren Thomas' local radio show Naturally Green.

Because I began the project in September, I have been catching the tail end of harvest season, which means cold weather crops, like kale (seen below, protected from frost), and wilting warm weather crops. I have visited the farm twice so far. During my first visit, I wandered the rows of crops and watched as Erin harvested cabbage. I also met Farmer Andy, of Andy's Specialty Garlic & Produce, another brand new CSA, located in Newark, NY. (More about him later). During my second visit to Mud Creek, family and friends came out on a Saturday to help Erin wrap up the season and harvest some of the last crops for a Thanksgiving share (a special bonus to members that signed up early for the 2010 season). Among other tasks, the greenhouse was cleaned, spinach was picked, and vegetables were washed.
If you happen to live in the Rochester area and are interested in joining the CSA in 2010, there is an information session tomorrow 12/06 at the Artisan Church (1235 S. Clinton Ave.) from 12:00 - 1:30PM. The event begins with a potluck lunch, so bring a dish!

No comments: