Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Folks I Get to Meet

While scouting a Silicon Valley location this week, my tour guide insisted I meet one of the company gurus, Jim Williams. His desk is not full of "junk," thank you. He simply has a big resource pile. OK, a couple big resource piles.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Watermelon (without) Sugar: A Recipe

In watermelon sugar the deeds were done and done again as my life is done in watermelon sugar.
-Richard Brautigan, "In Watermelon Sugar"

My family hates when I use the sink as a veggie scrap holding tank. I admit, it doesn't bother me at all; the stuff eventually makes it to the compost bucket.

Here's a particularly happy sink clog before I moved it all to the pail.

A fine and messy recipe:
Watermelon chunks ~ blend, then strain
Lime juice, to taste
Crushed ice, recommended
Sugar, not necessary
Mint sprigs, optional

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Yesterday's shoot with the fabo young Olivia Lee, aspiring actress. "She's gonna be big," says we.
Boundless gratitude to Chris McDonald makeup and assistant Stefanie Renee. You guys are the bomba.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Selected for ASMP Best of 2010

I'm thrilled that my work made it into American Society of Media Photographer's Best of 2010 show. Thanks for the honor, ASMP, and thanks for all you do for us media photogs. Here's what I wrote:

A year ago, my friend Amy Franceschini asked me to shoot some West Coast farms for a book about sustainable agriculture around the United States. Yes, definitely, this is my passion, but I had one request. I wanted to shoot all the farms, across the country. Happily, she gave me the green light and I had my dream project. No need to mention the insane deadline, I was thrilled.

I pieced together a jigsaw puzzle of sixteen farms and 13,000 miles of connecting roads, mapping a big loop around the continental United States. I fit harvest schedules into my own furious timeline, and somehow it worked. I was one happy camper. Literally.

I camped on the banks of a coyote-howlin’ Colorado irrigation ditch, in a candlelit yurt on the side of an Appalachian herb garden, on the dusty floor of a Bakersfield farm workers’ dormitory, and beside a roaring freeway outside Chicago. The miles were fluid, the farmers amazing, the deadline met.

This image is from Joel Greeno’s organic dairy in Kendall, Wisconsin, the last farm on my loop. I followed him up into the haymow, lurching with my tripod over bales of fresh alfalfa. When I saw the cathedral ceiling of the old barn and the way the slats and knotholes filtered light into the dusty air, I clicked for the joy of it. When we were done, I loaded the car, stopped in town, bought a purple Western shirt with pink pearl snap buttons, and drove North.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How to Make (Soup) Stock Video

Thanks, Melinda Stone for showing "Stock" to the How-to-Homestead crowd at Southern Exposure Gallery.

To save me from the dizzy method of clenching the Flip in my mouth while slicing vegetables, I called on my pal Josie Iselin to shoot some of the footage.

In case you missed the world premiere, here it is. Go ahead, slurp it up.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Farm Together Now: Spring Letter from Joe at Mountain Garden

Joe Hollis walking through his wasabi patch, high on an Appalachian mountain in Burnsville, North Carolina

Hi Anne,

I'm glad to hear from you. Daniel has alerted me to the book's progress, and I am very much looking forward to seeing it. I looked through the new website and noticed the back-to-back 'gorgeous book' comments. I love the photos you sent of me and Steve and am eager to see what else you've chosen.
There is quite a lot going on here, very productive year so far. Six apprentices plus usually a WWOOFer or two. Best group of apprentices ever. We've got a large food garden planted and moving along with Chinese herb and native wildfood projects. The big excitement at the moment is wasabi: after about 20 years, starting with one plant, I now have about fifty large flowering specimens and a thousand seedlings, and I'm about to launch a wasabi industry in the area. The greenhouses, coldframes and many spots in garden are filled with a beautiful violet-magenta mustard from China which I randomly acquired years ago. The flowers are big and bright and tasty, as are the greens; and this year I'm trying to grow a really big crop of seeds. I think this plant will be in every seed catalog in five years. The apprentices have about finished a new Steve dome, and one is set to move in - he's a mushroom man, so we're growing mushrooms of many kinds all over the place.
This is looking like the year in which many projects which I've been working on for 15-20 years are coming to bearing fruit, and the book will be a big part of the overall Mountain Gardens project coming to fruition.
And it has been the best spring in my memory for the plants: some close shaves, but no killing freezes. Plants I established 25 years ago are going to bear fruit for the first time. I'll write about all this and attach pictures for your blog (and mine) as soon as the spring rush subsides.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Farm Together Now: Bonsai's Tree

The view from atop Bonsai's evergreen, and my view of him under the plum, for the Farm Together Now book.
It was the middle of the hottest day of the century. Not having the luxury of golden afternoon light, I was chasing my minuscule noon shadow around the garden at Tryon Life Community, a rural oasis in the middle of Portland, Oregon. Bonsai Matt, a resident at the intentional community, came to my rescue while I was shimmying up the tallest tree to get an establishing shot of the landscape. When my courage came to its end, I handed my 5D off to him and he scampered on up.  He sent this note after I told him the news that one of his high angle images got into the book with credit given. wonnnnnnderfulll anne.... thanxomuch for the love and the sweet sweet images... i'm so glad that the picture from the tree will be in there! great work and please, for the love of the children and their children's children's children, keep up your good work...thanks again and much love to you and the gang ~ bonsai!