Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Working for The New Farm

"Out, standing in her field."    Aromatic Traditions™ 2015

The New Farm magazine was published by Rodale Press and the Rodale Institute from 1979 to 1994.  During my Fall semester of 1980 at what is now called Kutztown University, I became the first photography intern at Rodale Press.

I wanted to combine my love affair with the environment with my passion for the camera.  I worked this internship until I got it.  (I believe it still exists?, I'm not sure though.)

No sooner than I was given the internship I was assigned many menial (but meaningful?) tasks.  You see, photography interns did not exist before I came along.  Frankly, I don't think they knew what to do with me.

I was fascinated by the studios, test kitchens and a particular food stylist who made the most amazing presentations with hands gnarled by rheumatoid arthritis.  I started to make friends and stay late utilizing the facilities to take pictures that would later fill my portfolio.

It felt great to be part of Rodale Institute.  I loved that they were "back to nature", exploratory, sustainable and family run.  I was part of a family.  I am still part of that family today.  Farms turn me on.  I love the smells, the sounds, and most of all the people that I meet a long the way.

I remember one particular photo shoot trudging in my "wellies" through pig sh*t carrying about 80 pounds of photography equipment.  Anything for the perfect shot of a well run rural farm.

Later I was sent out on assignment.  Looking back through some of the old books and magazines published by Rodale I still see pictures and know that is my hand holding the growing frame lid up so you can see the tomato starts.

Although the memory of that time drifts into my mind in bits.  The passion for farming remains.  The passion for sustainable farming in small places.

Here is a pic of the first day of my floating garden on the Multnomah Channel of the Willamette River.

I grew several pounds of Calendula (Calendula Officinalis) flowers this year.  Quite a yield.
Here is one of my favorite products made from the blooms: