the farm(er) project


In Spring 2010, at the age of 23, I planted my first vegetables. I put those first plants (kale and potatoes) in the ground in a space I was tasked to manage for many others: a campus garden. Being a greenhorn is a highly unusual place to start for a salaried garden manager. I had generated the idea of a garden and saw it through the college president and trustees, but at the time I honestly didn’t have a clue about how to farm. So, with the college’s confidence, blessing, and funds, I began my farming journey.

I first started by researching things I thought should be simple to find: the timing of watering, what to plant where, and when to harvest. I quickly learned that even Google couldn’t provide me with those answers, so I set out to find mentors, exemplars, and farming buddies. These photos are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg—these portraits show the people I met with in my cross-country quest to learn how to be a farmer. These people taught me a great deal even if I was only able to stay for a few hours, their rich stories and my own observations enriched my own plot back home in the midwest. You can see my garden’s site at:

Overall, I learned that in farming, like photography, you need to be a keen observer.

enthnography, farm, photo journalism