Meadow Lark

The 45th Plate

1406012_16_01_167 I have spent many evenings the past two summers taking pictures with Meadow Lark Farm Dinners on farms outside of Boulder. Meadow Lark has tripped out a school bus as a kitchen which they park by some of the most lush, mostly organic fields. They create their menus from whatever is ripe, with the menu and whole experience dependant on which way the wind is blowing. The Meadow Lark table is set for 44 people. Somewhere, off to the side of the bus (preferably out of view) Veronica sets a small table for me - the 45th plate.

Because I am not a food photographer, or a nature photographer for that matter - I come in through a very different door. I walk through the fields unannounced and often follow my nose more than my eyes. These pictures are about using all of our senses. I bury my camera deep in the pots of steaming fresh pasta, let the oil jump onto my lens just above the frying squash blossoms, and push my hands so far into the hot smoking grill my camera smells like barbecue for weeks.

These prints are the result of a collaboration: George Lange, Veronica Volny and Meadow Lark--Nature--and a lot of Love all around! This offering is an exclusive limited Holiday Edition. The archival prints are custom made in Boulder and signed for you by me.

Meadow Lark - Aspen Moon

I have been shooting with Meadow Lark Farm dinners around Boulder a lot this past summer. Like a circus they come for a single performance then pack up and disappear like they were never there. A table for 44 is set on the edge of a field with Limoge vintage dishes, antique silver, and a long linen tablecloth. Almost everything cooked is from the organic bounty is grown right there. The menu changes every night literally depending on which way the wind is blowing. The wine is completely intoxicating They feed me on what we call the VIP table, which is usually balancing act on a cooler behind Bella (their school bus tripped out as a kitchen). As the weather cools down, the steam and smoke are becoming more prominent.This collection of images is becoming overwhelming for me to edit, let alone share. They are coming from a place I have rarely let myself photograph from, shooting over a long period of time. My camera comes home smelling of smoke and covered with all kinds of very special olive oil. I put the camera down deep into what is being cooked. I crawl down to the roots in the fields. Sometimes when I look at my lens halfway through the night, it is a mess of everything I have submerged it in, but so is my shirt, so when I try cleaning it everything just smears. On the surface these dinners are about wonderful meals on a farm in the summer. Deeper down they are about an obsession with beauty for all the senses - visual, taste, touch, sound, smell, the air, the moment, the light - all there and gone in the span of a couple of hours. This shot of Veronica Volny and Alberto Sabbadini is rare exhale towards the end of the dinner last Saturday night at Aspen Moon - along with shots of the vegetarian paella on the grill, and the nightly shot of the compost.

Cold Borscht at Meadow Lark

My father always used to love making cold beet borscht. He loved boiling the beets and peeling off their skins. Loved his red cuticles he wore as a badge of honor afterwards. Loved the fresh dill. Loved the sour cream (this was in the days before we knew about yogurt). Last Saturday night they made the most extraordinary cold beet borscht at Meadow Lark Farm Dinners. The light’s glow from the passing storms made the color every more amazing. Alberto Sabbadini with his decidedly nonchalant attitude served up a small glass for me and drizzled it with yogurt and olive oil. I took the glass back behind Ella (their bus) and and shared it by the pond in the rain with my father.

Afterwards the pile of used spoons were a perfect still life sitting to be washed. Also loved the plate that someone obviously used their finger to wipe up the bowl. Then the borscht stain on the grass.