“Farm & Food” is our newest category of work in our portfolio. We currently are slowly developing a “farm” property that will include art residencies and opportunities for new and hobby farmers to try new experiments as well as supporting hands on engagement with our physical and wonderful world.

Check back shortly for more info.

The Southerner Morel Mushroom Dinner

One of the many benefits of my profession is that some photography assignments give me access to places and situations that I would probably never have access to on my own. Sometimes I get the feeling that I must have slipped by the bouncers – it’s like skinny dipping in the rich neighbors pool while they are sleeping; at any point the deck light will be turned on and all will be exposed.
There was no feeling out of place though while photographing the Morel Mushroom Dinner hosted by The Southerner restaurant. Owners Katie Fris & Matt Millar were such gracious of hosts that you couldn’t help but feel like a welcomed guest.

This is the story of the time I got spoiled by really great chefs and had a meal sourced in heaven, which is to say, sourced in West Michigan.

The Morel Mushroom dinner was hosted at the in-progress site of the future The Southerner in Saugatuck (former Elbo Room). The meal highlighted the foods found on the previous days forage with Andy Davis as well as all manner of other locally produced foods. Cooking along side The Southerner’s Matthew Millar were:

Also featuring:
New Holland Brewing Company’s The Beervangelist Fred Buelttman will be on hand providing beer and spirits pairings form New Holland’s stellar portfolio of local craft beer and artisan spirits.

More photos:

The Hog Whole, Year 1

This summer we started a tradition at the farmland which I think we will try again next year as well. We tried to process as much of a hog as we were able to. Our good friend Phil was coming in from Colorado and with our space in mind, informed us of his excitement for experimenting with charcuterie. We thought this was perfect. We want the farmland to be a place where people can experiment and get their hands dirty and become more connected with the world–particularly food systems.
We all do our best to be mindful of our meat consumption. Working through this process was a great exercise in reducing the cognitive and geographic distance to our food.

Here are some of the photos from the day.

Black Locust

    Once you know what a black locust tree is you will begin see it everywhere. It is a nitrogen-fixing tree that yields great blossoms in early summer. The wood is so dense and rot resistant that some claim you could bury it in the ground for 100 years with out it rotting… which makes for great fence post material (more on the fence Lisa is working on later).
    Oh yeah, it is also invasive so much so that Sleeping Bear Dunes is putting extensive work into controlling their spread.

    We have a few at the farm and in the short window of time that they bloom we have been enjoying using the blossoms for making tea as well as adding them to our salads.