Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Local Food and Yummy Pears

We're coming to the close soon at most of the Farmers Markets we sell our lamb at. Julia and I have finished our Bernardston and Northfield Markets. The markets in North Amherst (Saturdays), Northampton (Tuesday), and South Hadley (Thursday) continue for a few more weeks. I'm really looking forward to some downtime this winter. The markets take up a huge part of our lives in the spring, summer and fall. They have been extremely important to us as we are still working on establishing our retail customer base for our Leyden Glen Farm Lamb Business. This winter, we'll be exploring some other ways to market our lamb meat. We'll most likely keep doing some of the markets. It is a great way to find new customers and network with other farmers and local chefs.

We're pretty excited that Bistro Les Gras, a fabulous french restaurant run by Daniel Martinez and his wife in Northampton, has become a regular customer of our lamb meat. It's a great place to eat if you are local and looking to support local food and have an amazing meal. We celebrated my birthday there and it was exceptional!

I've been enjoying the local pears this year. I finally have found out how to tell when they are done. In the past, I have kept them out on the counter and then missed the perfect time and they have turned to mush and become chicken food! Ben Clark of Clarkdale Fruit Farm told me that if the tip of the pear, just near the stem is slightly soft, then the pear is ready to eat. Oh, I am so happy to know this!

My friend Jeanne Duval paints beautiful pictures of pears. Me, I'm enjoying photographing them. And eating them with a little slice of blue cheese - YUM! What a great taste combination.

When I teach color classes, I use this simple example of how to see and work with color. You can do it easily in your home. Take one object (or group of objects) and lay it on a surface. Here are the pears on a brass plate.

Here are the pears on the brass plate on top of a floral cloth.

Here are the pears on a blue ceramic plate.

Here are the pears on the blue plate on the cloth.

If you do the same kind of exercise, you too will learn how colors work together. If I had taken a photo of green apples, red apples, or oranges, think about how the images would look different.

Which is your favorite? Remember, the first October giveaway ends Thursday at midnight. The contest winner will be announced Friday at noon-ish.


Deborah said...

Good thing the pears aren't in front of me. Your still life would be ruined! I like the color study and I like the first one and the last one the best, but they are all interesting. One of my painting exercises in college was a still life with white eggs on a white background. A good lesson!

Turtle said...

i agree with the above, first and last are my favorites, just depending on how much texture and color you are wanting in the background. How fun!

Bonnie said...

I like the first one best, but then I'm a minimalist. I like the more subtle, delicate colors. Also, in the first one the pears look delicate and a little vulnerable, as if photographed at the exact moment when ripeness ends and decay begins.

Allabitrandom said...

I too like the first one for simplicity, but the last one for exhuberance. Thanks for this exercise. I can't wait to give it a go!

debra said...

I vote for the process and exercise of playing with color. Watch out fruit I come.