Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Farmville, USA

Geographers laid out most of the Midwest in simple, square-mile grids bordered by country roads. Farmers populated the majority of these grids over a hundred years ago. Last weekend, I visited two working farms in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. Fascinated by the process and details of the farm worlds away from the Whole Foods dairy isle, I wandered the farms taking photos.

Today, larger farms dominate the agricultural industry fueling critiques like Food Inc. However, independent family-owned farms still flourish in specific niches.

The chicken coop.

Grass-fed organic milk, still hot.

Stand off.


Chomping grass, not grain, the Heidel Organic Farm produces a few thousand gallons of milk a week. David showed me around the operation and I did my best to avoid cow shit and take photos at the same time.

Lone ranger.


I always liked Chicken Run.

Twice a week, Organic Valley picks up milk from the Heidel farm.

Fresh eggs, from "unobstructed" chickens.

The farm dog inspecting the chickens.

The view from a hundred year-old hen house.

Milking time!

The Heichler farm vertically produces hand made sweaters. Starting with the lamb, Kathrine and Karl raise the sheep, spin the wool and knit the sweaters. More info here.


More patina.

Catching some rays.

Empty stables.

Ready for an omelet.

David Heidel.

Farming is a livelihood, not a job. These farmers are proud of their work. It was inspiring to spend time on their farms. Visit a farm sometime, you will enjoy it.

Here are some more links,
Farmville (Picasa),
Wisconsin (ART).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


With a crunch, I fell through the thin layer of ice, sinking to my knees. Avoiding scraping my shins on the jagged corners, I pulled my foot directly up through the snow and stepped gingerly back onto the frozen Massachusetts countryside. As the sun set, I made my way across the snow-covered field towards the comfort of a warm fire and dinner. Every 10 or so paces, an overzealous step cracked the ice again, repeating the process.

The last flirtations of daylight retreated behind the hills as I kicked my feet together, in a hopeless attempt to remove the snow from my boots, before opening the backdoor. The smell of pan-seared steaks from a local farmer greeted me as I walked into the kitchen. "Fuck New York," I said to my roommates with a grin on my face like a thirteen-year-old that had just found a Playboy stashed in his older brother's dresser.

For two days, we holed up, watching the snow fall outside and the wind rattle the windows. Early in the morning and before sunset, I went on walks around the idylic New England roads that surrounded the Wijnberg's house. The honks and busy streets of New York felt worlds away.

Faded paint.

Edge reading on Sunday morning.


The fire place.



Kicking Snow.

Lunch time.

Sunset on a lone birdhouse.

A nearby barn through an antique window.

Function over form. Nike SFB.

Distance makes the heart fonder.

Here are some more links,
Getting Away (Picasa),
Two and a Half Hours (ART).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I arrived home in the beginning of January to forgotten Christmas trees, empty Fresh Direct boxes and mountains of garbage along the streets of Manhattan. In the Northeast, the holidays aren't half-time in the scheme of winter but merely the first quarter. A constant cycle of heavy snowfall and subsequent rain and thawing sets the tempo. Without this baseline of uncomfortable weather, the occasional sunny day in the 40s would be taken for granted.

Here are some of my my photos taken in the last month, during my first winter in New York.

Candy cured bacon.

Newspaper, Columbus Ave.

My Aunt and Uncle's fireplace in Bala Cynwyd.

Bloody Mary, Peels.

Snow day, Central Park.

Street meat malfeasance.
Allusions to Maine.

Drinks in Williamsburg

A warm day in the East Village.

Yours truly. My friend Alexxa took this photo.

Farmers Market.
Another snow day in Central Park.

At the warm points in the thaw and snow cycle, spring feels right around the corner. The next storm dashes these hopes. We still have two more months left. Now you can call it halftime.

Here are some more links,