March 4, 2011

UC Cooperative Extension, Placer County, CA: UEKI GARDENS

 Last fall I was I was lucky enough to be asked to take images of farmers and ranchers in northern California's Placer County. The client was University Cooperative Extension of UC  one of the country's leading  agricultural programs.
 I had done work for a sister organization, Placer Grown, several years before photographing fruits, vegetable, animals, and landscapes. This time they wanted to focus more on the people who actually do the work. What is great about the program they are endorsing is that they are trying to promote the idea of eating locally grown products. There are several farmers markets throughout the year that make obtaining the local fare easy and enjoyable.
 I have to say that this has been one of my favorite assignments. I absolutely love just being out on the farms and ranches, smelling the soils, produce, and yes even the animals. There is something old world and wholesome about being around the origins of what fills our cupboards and tables every day. The people who run the farms and ranches couldn't have been more wonderful which makes the experience even richer.
 Over the next week I'll post some of my favorite images from the various locations. I'm grateful to Cindy Fake for the assignment and to all the owners that graciously put up with my calls and my cameras! A special thanks as well to Joanne Neft who got me involved in the first place!
 This first post focuses on Terri Ueki and her husband Bob Roan. (Ueki Garden Flowers ). They are well known for their wide variety of stunning flowers but they also grow a variety of fruits and vegetable. They were my first stop on this whirlwind four day tour. I had actually photographed just flowers on their property in the past so it was a reunion of sorts. It was a pleasure to see Terri and Bob again. The overcast weather was a plus as it helped me avoid a lot of contrast. Terri and bob were so kind in letting me hover around with my cameras and occasionally direct them to a better location.
 To top it off they invited me in to their home for some coffee, conversation, and home baked treats. I'm continually blessed by the gifts this profession has to offer. Meeting wonderful people passionate about their work will always make my work worth while. This assignment couldn't have gotten off to a better start!

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