Tag Archives: farm animals

Two by Two: Two Couples, Four Photographers

(Belfast, ME) When it comes to photography, couples Ralph & Kathryn and Margaret & Drew are two peas in a (tri-)pod. For both pairs, being photographers together is a core part of their relationship – not unlike farming is to many farming couples. The new exhibit at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery features a selection of each of these four photographers.

Two by Two: Two Couples, Four Photographers will be on display from November 7, 2016 through January 6, 2017. There will be an artist talk with all four photographers on Friday November 18, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm, followed by a reception from 5:30 to 8:00 pm.

Kathryn and Ralph

Kathryn has been an artist her whole adult life. She met Ralph when he contacted her to collaborate on a photo series in May 2013. It was a dance series and she participated as the subject. Shortly thereafter they became good friends and eventually fell in love. “Ralph inspired me to step behind the lens myself,” says Kathryn. “So we continue to bounce ideas off each other, share critiques but we pursue our own projects independently.”

Ralph was born in West Germany and studied European literature in Germany and France. He immigrated to the United States in 2002. He is a self-taught photographer who regularly presents his work in national and international shows.

“Kathryn and Ralph both often work in black and whites, and their images are rather dream-like,” says Anna Witholt Abaldo, curator of MFT Gallery. “But that is where the resemblance stops. There is a definite difference in feel, which completely echoes their individual spirit. Kathryn’s works – especially her encaustics – have an ephemeral, wispy, whimsical quality that pulls us into imaginary worlds filled with voices of flowers and wind-swept grass. Ralph’s work can be both beautiful and haunting at the same time. It strikes me as truly European: born from a philosopher’s soul, he mixes equal parts of the same dark and dripping angst found in Rilke’s poems with raw and unexpected beauty. The resulting images quiver with melancholy longing.”

Margaret and Drew

Margaret and Drew typically photograph and exhibit together. “We often spend several hours working at the same location—it could be an old farm, an abandoned mill site, or perhaps an historical building,” Margaret says.
Margaret was not a photographer when they met, but Drew was. “I would come along when he was taking pictures,” says Margaret. Drew proceeded to give Margaret a camera. “I had liked photography in my childhood – but I was always interested in abstract stuff, and was told I was taking the wrong kind of pictures!”

By Drew Sanborn

A common thread in their work is their interest in the still-visible remainders of Maine’s 19th and early 20th century history. Abandoned machinery from farms and factories, evolving rural landscapes, and even libraries of vintage books are all viewed with a contemporary sensibility.

“Margaret and Drew know how to do justice to the beauty and personality of all things old,” says Anna Witholt Abaldo. “Looking at their work I sense a stillness and emptiness, like time has momentarily stopped.”

Faces of Farms: Animal Portraits at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery

Faces of Farms will run from Friday January 8 through Friday March 25 with an artist reception (open to the public) on Friday March 11 from 5:30-7:30pm. To See Catherine’s photo blog, visit: http://www.folio-marketing.com/faces-of-farms/

MFT Gallery, located at 97 Main Street, Belfast, is open Monday through Friday from 9-4. More information can be found at www.mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org

 

Faces of Farms: Animal Portraits at Maine Farmland Trust Gallery

Belfast. During the months of January, February and March, MFT Gallery will be exhibiting two different collections of farm animal portraiture.

On the ground floor, visitors can enjoy a whimsical collage of photo prints, submitted by Maine Farmland Trust’s members and followers: personal snapshots of favorite farm animals by farmers and farm lovers all around the state.

On the second floor, MFT Gallery will be showing Catherine Frost’s “Faces of Farms,” a collection of professional portraits of farm animals.

Throughout 2015, Catherine traveled to Maine farms all across the state, visiting those with unique livestock. From Cherryfield to Freeport and Nubian goats to Norwegian Fjords, each photo session featured unique faces of farms, seen through a lens of deep appreciation and respect for the animals. Frost produced a monthly photoblog which was shared through Maine Farmland Trust’s social media throughout 2015. Selected favorites are featured in this exhibit.

Frost is an avid animal, outdoor and photography lover. Her vocation is to provide creative and marketing services to small, socially responsible companies that are lead by passionate entrepreneurs. She has worked with several Maine farmers including North Star Sheep Farm (Windham), Balfour Farm (Pittsfield), Aurora Mills and Farm (Linneus) and Norumbega Farm (New Gloucester).

Her home is in Freeport, where she lives with her dog, Daisy.

Faces of Farms will run from Friday January 8 through Friday March 25 with an artist reception (open to the public) on Friday March 11 from 5:30-7:30pm. To See Catherine’s photo blog, visit: http://www.folio-marketing.com/faces-of-farms/

MFT Gallery, located at 97 Main Street, Belfast, is open Monday through Friday from 9-4. More information can be found at www.mainefarmlandtrustgallery.org

Pictured: Belted Galloways at Mitchell Ledge Farm

The Faces of Farms: Alpaca in the Raw

The Faces of Farms

Throughout 2015, photographer Catherine Frost will be traveling to Maine farms all across the state, visiting those with their own special livestock. From alpaca to water buffalo to turkeys and rare breeds of horses, each month will feature new faces. The best will be featured in a show at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in January and February of 2016.

Alpaca in the Raw at Black Woods Farm in Cherryfield

Despite their relatively calm nature, alpaca don’t really like to be touched. So sinking your hand into the back of one and rolling your fingers around in the raw fiber is something special.

The process of getting it from the animal’s body to the body of a person in the form of a sweater on their back, a hat on their head or slippers on their feet is not easy. The shearing, the dying, the spinning, the knitting – it’s an age-old art form and just another example of how farm animals serve us.

We literally take the fiber from their back and put it onto our own – leaving them to look downright weird. These living Q-tips with jutting lower teeth, all ill-proportioned and lanky, have seemingly walked off the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. But just look at those eyes. Doubled-down deep brown marbles, juicy and glistening with curiosity.

And the coat. Some wear dark chocolate locks. Some butterscotch curly cues. Some plain vanilla, but shaken up with soft shaggy shards. Each is so filled with their own earthy flavor, the fiber needn’t be dyed. It’s perfect, as is.

See Catherine’s full post HERE.

The Faces of Farms: Nubian Goats of Tide Mill Creamery

Throughout 2015, photographer Catherine Frost will be traveling to Maine farms all across the state, visiting those with their own special livestock. From alpaca to water buffalo to turkeys and rare breeds of horses, each month will feature new faces. The best will be featured in a show at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in January and February of 2016.

Nubian Goats of Tide Mill Creamery

Goats. They’re a challenge to photograph, for sure. But I love the reason why. They exist where fearless meets curious.

The protective cover of the herd like a comforting blanket settling on a bed. It allows an open heart to bravely taste whatever is in front of them (a sweat-salty t-shirt or chewy red wellies coated with poo, they don’t seem to care as long as they can get a piece of it) or follow a complete stranger’s lead. In the safety of many, they are free to be one.

I had a hard time getting a wide-angle shot because each time I tried to move from the herd, by the time I was turned around and on the ground, there they were – all oblong ears and silly goat grins. “Watcha’ doin’?” they asked, eyes wide and unblinking. “Sitting in dung,” I say.

I wonder, as the mirror of the lens shows them their cock-headed reflection, if they have feeling in their heart or a thought in their head. I’m going to say “yes.” And I am going to assume they are as happy and carefree as they appear, eating sapling leaves, giving the occasional buck to a brother, feeling fresh after a good milking and just hanging comfortably with the herd. At peace.

See more photos at Folio Marketing & Creative.

The Faces of Farms: Guard Donkeys

Throughout 2015, photographer Catherine Frost will be traveling to Maine farms all across the state, visiting those with their own special livestock. From alpaca to water buffalo to turkeys and rare breeds of horses, each month will feature new faces. The best will be featured in a show at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in January and February of 2016.

Animal instincts drill to the core of natural history. One of the strongest, and essential in the preservation of life, is protection. Protection of ourselves, protection of our brood, and protection of our tribe.

On a bitterly cold day last winter, I was shooting at North Star Sheep Farm where their donkeys serve as guards to their 1,000+ head of Hampshire and Suffolk sheep. Unknown to me at the time was that one of the jennies was about 9 months pregnant. While her jack kept a close eye on me, she stayed safe in the background.

In the spring, Brooks arrived. The jen stayed close – after all, she carried him, just one foal to carry on the family name, for twelve months.

I was also there when the family was relocated to guard a different flock at the farm’s homestead field. There were already several donkeys tending these sheep and it was established as “their” tribe. Any new animal, regardless of age or adorableness, was suspect – even if it was one of their own kind.

Some of the donkeys were curious, some agitated, some excited to see a fresh face. Brooks navigated the situation the best he knew how – dodging the aggression, moving toward those who were welcoming, intuiting his way through this new crowd. It was quite like watching a new pup enter a dog park, or a new employee taking their cube for the first time. Equal parts submitting to the establishment matched with standing his own ground.

In the end, all accepted Brooks – the newest member who will be trained by his elders how to protect himself, the flock and the tribe.

It isn’t always this easy, either with animals or humans. Imagine the world if we could just crack the nut that reveals acceptance and realize when we do, it only makes for a more unified tribe.

Visit Catherine’s website to see more Guard Donkey photos.

The Faces of Farms: The Norwegian Fjords of Mandala Farm

Throughout 2015, photographer Catherine Frost will be traveling to Maine farms all across the state, visiting those with their own special livestock. From alpaca to water buffalo to turkeys and rare breeds of horses, each month will feature new faces. The best will be featured in a show at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in January and February of 2016.

I arrived just happy to be there. Spring in Maine, a new place I had never been, new animals I had never seen. After chatting with owner Sara to get the lay of the land, she cut me loose to wander as I needed. The sun wasn’t quite right on the horses, so I went to see the Cashmere goats. Then comes Enna, all ponytail, nail polish and Bog boots. She ended up being my tour guide, assistant and instant inspiration for why we should all just love life.

She knows all the goats by name. Her faves are Thunder and Lightning. When I asked about the mallards who lived next to the goats, she told me “they look like mallards, but they are not mallards they are meat ducks and they can’t fly that’s why they don’t fly away, but they do look a lot like mallards but they aren’t because they are bigger and this one has a sore foot but he’s ok.”

We started walking toward the horses and pass a small building – The Hopping House. I can’t pass anything called The Hopping House without popping my head in. “Are there bunnies in there?” I asked her. I got no words, but a happy bobbing nod and a face full of smile. “Can we go in there?” I asked her. Same response. Inside I met Ginger and Cinnamon and watched Enna carefully and masterfully catch Cinnamon for a snap.

Ok – onto the horses. She knows them all and loves each one. She is fearless among them and very knowledgeable. We got talking about their coloring (dun) and their manes that have a contrating dorsal stripe. She talked about the pure white Norweign Fjord, the one that’s “all white all over no other color just white.” I asked her what color a pure white horse’s stripe would be. “Whiter than white,” she said.  I believe her.

See the full photo shoot HERE.

The Faces of Farms

Throughout 2015, photographer Catherine Frost will be traveling to Maine farms all across the state, visiting those with their own special livestock. From alpaca to water buffalo to turkeys and rare breeds of horses, each month will feature new faces. The best will be featured in a show at the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery in January and February of 2016, The Faces of Farms.


The Belted Galloways of Mitchell Ledge Farm, Freeport, Maine

I visited Mitchell Ledge three times in two months and each time, each day the temperature was below freezing. One day it was snowing furiously and the other had dangerously low wind chill temperatures. Covered with their dense, curly coats, none of the herd seemed to mind. To them it was just another day in the life on the farm – chewing, meandering, scratching, sleeping and being nonchalantly curious about what I was up to jumping fences, crossing their well-beaten paths and squirreling into their cozy spaces.

More than the belt, I am taken with their ears and eyelashes. I want to snuggle each one as though it is an enormous, gentle puppy. When their fuzzy Dr. Seussian ears catch the sunlight, it’s magical.  And the closer I get, the more they flirt with their big baby brown eyes. I get just a bit closer. Thankfully, they don’t seem to mind.

View the full post, with photos, HERE.

HARVEST, January 2015

HARVEST: Farm and Food News From Maine and Beyond

January 2015

We’re kicking off a new monthly harvest of farm and food news. Check back each month for a selection of articles, stories, and trends you might have missed.

During the “off-season,” Maine farmers find all kinds of ways to keep busy.

Demand for organic milk in growing, but the lack of supply has led to a nationwide shortage (MPBN).

There are several new proposed local food bills on the table in the Maine legislature (BDN).

If you missed the Ag Trades Show in Augusta, here are a few notes from the 74th annual event (PPH’s Source).

Businesses are sprouting up to support farmers in new ways, through food hubs and other innovative distribution networks (NYTimes).

Maine’s young farmers are leading the way back to the land (again) (NPR).

Access to start-up capital and land are two of the biggest challenges that beginning farmers face. National Young Farmer’s Coalition is aiming to tackle both barriers, and recently launched a campaign for student loan forgiveness. They also just released an excellent new Farmer’s Guide to Working with Land Trusts.

A, B, or none of the above? The maple syrup grading system is changing.

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms (made famous by Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma) laid out 5 Ways We Can Scale Sustainable Farming.

And just for fun, some very cute pictures of farm animals all bundled up for the winter weather.

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