MY WISCONSIN AGRICULTURAL HISTORY
I grew up most of my life around plants and agriculture. When I was three, my parents moved from Milwaukee to an unincorporated town near Waukesha, Wisconsin with lots of farmland. On our own one-acre plot, backed by a farmer’s field, we planted one-third of it in vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, herbs and more. When our family moved from that location to the “burbs” we left the garden, the fresh produce and all that work behind us (a huge relief to my teen-age mind). While I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I came to realize that our agricultural efforts taught me research skills, patience, persistence and self-sufficiency.
NOW IN UTAH…
True to the saying, “What goes around, comes around,” I found myself recently photographing La Nay Ferme, a community-supported agricultural site in Provo, Utah. Some people may consider the stunning views of Mount Timpanogos and Utah county its best features. I agree that these qualities factor into the equation. However, the farm’s continuing agricultural evolution gets my vote as its strongest appeal.
I first visited La Nay Ferme in August of 2012 at a Farm Dinner put on by the students of The Art Institute of Salt Lake City. I returned in March and April 2014 to photograph the CSA offering for the week and various farm shots. During that short time, the farm has evolved into an ever-expanding series of protected plastic-covered tunnels, a young orchard and a full-fledged CSA offering spinach, mixed greens, chard, thyme, oregano, dill, beets, and carrots just to name a few. Even during the month’s time between my two recent farm photo sessions, it struck me to see all the work and care put into tending and harvesting existing plants and making new tunnels. You can’t help but get excited seeing new shoots springing from a row of plowed dirt and some drip-irrigation lines, all staked out by red string. From experience, it makes me marvel that just a few people can make such a difference in tending and creating this thriving agricultural site.
If you ever have the occasion to photograph a place like La Nay Ferme on your travels, it pays to keep a few tips in mind. I’ve put together some suggestions (see my post titled: Agricultural Photo Tips). While La Nay Ferme does not currently offer tours, you can keep up on its growth through the photos on its blog and various social media sites (visit the blog and click on the various icons) from its team of photographers. While CSA members have the advantage of picking up their produce fresh at the farm, there are locations offering La Nay Ferme’s produce including:
Nothing beats just-picked, farm-fresh vegetables and greens. Trust me, you will notice the difference, not just in appearance as seen in my photos, but in the taste. I’ve personally grown to love the chard and the spinach offered by La Nay Ferme. Both beat out the typical grocery chain offerings, hands down.
I’m looking forward to going back to the farm next month and seeing more changes and photographing the progress.