Monday, November 19, 2012

Sashiko Stitching

I find the Japanese technique of sashiko fascinating. Sashiko is simply a running stitch. However, what appears simple belies the difficulty of making stitches even and creating a design with stitches only.

Hundreds of years ago in northern Japan, fishermen and farmers' wives used sashiko (translated as little stabs) to repair and insulate clothing. Later, as cotton became available, sashiko was done on indigo fabric using white cotton thread. First utilitarian, now sashiko is an art form to decorate quilts, wall hangings, pillows, clothing or wherever your imagination leads you.
 
Sashiko stitching creates striking designs that can vary from geometric patterns, to family crests or stylized motifs from nature like flowers or animals.
 
I enjoy making gifts using sashiko. I think of the person to whom I'm giving the gift while I stitch - like incorporating symbols of love and longevity in a wedding gift for Brian and Loren, the cranes for Sarah and Al. For Martin and Ghislaine, I reproduced their golf carts which they used on their wedding invitation.
 
During the cold winter months, I recently made a wall hanging which I named Dreaming I was in Hawaii. Stitchng the sea turtle, shells and waves helped me pass the dark days. While white stitching on indigo fabric is traditional, there is now a huge variety of colored sashiko threads and the fabric on which one stitches can be any color - only limited by what the creator wants to create. 

I've recently taught sashiko classes here in Rochester, New York. My students are eager to learn and help me expand my own understanding of sashiko.











Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On the Farm & At the Market

Anita Amsler, Oldhome Farm,
Walworth, NY
On the Farm & At the Market 
Exhibit at Monroe Ave YMCA, 797 Monroe Avenue  Rochester, NY 14607
 (585) 271-5320

September 12 - October 3, 2012


Cole Werner enjoys helping his father
Jeff, Warner Farm Market, Rush, NY
Rochester has been nicknamed
the “flour” and later the “flower” city, reflecting the area’s rich agricultural heritage.

The Rochester Public Market continues to reflect this
heritage—with many farmers selling the produce they grow
on their farms.

The farmers work their farms full-time. This is their livelihood.  Some farmers are the second or third generations in their family farming. Even their children get involved—helping on the farm and selling alongside their parents at the market.  

Support our local farmers!

Margaret W. Miyake, miyakephoto.com
mwmiyake@hotmail.com

*******************************************
Rochester Public Market,
http://www.cityofrochester.gov/publicmarket/


Meg Davis, Paul Watson's Greenhouses, Rush, NY


Josh and Jesse Jones have their own
pumpkin patch on their grandparents' farm,
Eaton Farm in Ontario, NY.




Richard Hammann,
Hammann Farm, Penfield


Can you identify the farmers at the market?


Each farmer is selling what he or she grows!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Farmers at the Market - Exhibit Extended Until September 30

Farmers at the Public Market:
Photographs of farmers
who grow and sell their produce
at the Rochester Public Market
Exhibit at Edward G. Miner Library
University of Rochester Medical Center


The Rochester Public Market provides the opportunity to buy produce directly from the farmers that grow them. This exhibit documents these farmers at the market.
 
They are part of a national trend to buy locally grown food: in season and freshly harvested. Much of the produce is picked just before it is sold at the market.. Most of it is grown using sustainable farming practices.

This exhibit celebrates the resurgence of the family farm. All the farmers depend on their farms to provide their livelihood. To survive and flourish they have adapted their crops to include new demands from immigrant populations and rapidly growing ethnic restaurants. Now specialty items, like black radish, daikon and kobacha, are readily available at the market. The market makes this innovation possible by putting local farmers in close contact with their customers.

This exhibit also celebrates the community that has grown at the market, merging old traditions with new cultures, all centered around the food we eat daily.

I started photographing at the market in 2006—to document the seasonal changes and meet vendors and farmers. I received an Arts and Cultural Council grant to photograph and interview farmers at several local farms, shoppers at the market and market staff. I had an exhibit at The Link Gallery in City Hall exhibiting images from that project. My photographs have also been on display at Community Darkroom Galleries, High Falls Gallery, Lavery Library at St. John Fisher, and Lower Link Gallery at Rundel Library.

"With a camera in my hand, I use it as a way to meet and enter into people's lives." 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Photographs of Rochester Public Market by Margaret Miyake

I have an exhibit at Miner Library, University of Rochester Medical Center. Below is the press release posed by the University: http://minernews.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/photographs-of-rochester-public-market-by-margaret-miyake/

From June 5 through August 30, 2012, we’re pleased to host “Farmers at the Public Market,” an exhibit of color images by well-known local photographer, Margaret W. Miyake.

Since 1905, Rochester’s Public Market has served the community, providing the opportunity to buy produce directly from the growers themselves. This exhibit documents – and celebrates – farmers at the market and the resurgence of the family farm. They are part of a national trend to buy food locally grown, freshly harvested, and in season. Much of the produce is picked just before it is sold at the market. Most of it is grown using sustainable farming practices.

All the farmers depend on their farms to provide their livelihood. To survive and flourish they have adapted their crops to include new demands from immigrant populations and rapidly growing ethnic restaurants. Now specialty items like black radish, daikon, and kobacha are readily available at the market. The market makes this innovation possible by putting local farmers in close contact with their customers.

Margaret Miyake started photographing at the market in 2006, to document the seasonal changes and to meet vendors and farmers. She received a grant from Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester to photograph and interview farmers at several local farms, shoppers at the market, and market staff. She had an exhibit at The Link Gallery in City Hall exhibiting images from that project. Her photographs also have been on display at Community Darkroom Galleries, High Falls Fine Art Gallery, Lavery Library at St. John Fisher College, and Lower Link Gallery at Central Library of Rochester. “With a camera in my hand, I use it as a way to meet and enter into people’s lives,” says Miyake about her interest in documentary photography.

For more information contact Margaret W. Miyake mwmiyake@hotmail.com www.miyakephoto.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Magnum Photographers at the Rochester Public Market

What a difference a day makes.
Friday, April 20 was sunny and warm. Saturday, April 21, was cold and rainy.

Nevertheless, Magnum photographers came to the Rochester Public Market to take portraits of shoppers as well as candid photographs of vendors and farmers.
 
While they focused their cameras on those of us doing what we do every weekend at the market, I took a few pictures of them.
What is Magnum? From their web site, http://agency.magnumphotos.com/about/about 
"Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually." -Henri Cartier-Bresson

"Magnum Photos is a photographic co-operative of great diversity and distinction owned by its photographer-members. With powerful individual vision, Magnum photographers chronicle the world and interpret its peoples, events, issues and personalities. Through its four editorial offices in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, and a network of fifteen sub-agents, Magnum Photos provides photographs to the press, publishers, advertising, television, galleries and museums across the world."
 
On Saturday, April 28, there will be a pop-up exhibition at Rorhbach Warehouse on Railroad Street. If your picture was taken, stop by and pick up a free portrait.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sugaring Season

Sap is rising. The nights are cold. The days are above freezing. It's the perfect time to head to the sugar bush and collect sap.  At Oldhome Farm in Walworth, NY, Anita Amsler and her business partner Louie Bell are working day and night collecting, cooking, testing, sampling and bottling maple syrup. I visited Anita and Louie on February 17. "This is the earliest we have ever tapped," says Anita.

For Anita, sugaring is the first sign of spring. “It’s a time of rebirth,” she says. “You go out in the woods with snow up to your knees and know that spring is coming. Things are changing. It’s mud season, which I hate. Sugaring takes us though that time.



“To me it’s magic, seeing little shoots coming up. We have this wonderful earth and we take it for granted. Spring is the very beginning and we’re the fortunate ones. Whether it’s a good season or poor like this year, it’s good to feel part of the earth and the seasons.”



Their sugar bush covers two to three acres. Anita and Louie have been tapping for 16 years. They use the “old-fashion” process: tap, insert spiels and hang buckets with lids. When it’s a cold night, below freezing, and a warm day in the 40s, the sap flows.




Often Anita’s daughter Heidi and son Chad and their children help collect sap. “To watch my grandchildren, talks to my heart,” says Anita. “I watch them put their tongue under a spiel to catch the sweet white sap. This is special and not all children are so fortunate.  

“When they were younger, my grand children had fun playing around the trees and once they got lost. Now they tell me ‘We won’t get lost again,’” says Anita. “I’m hoping that one will carry on this tradition. It’s doesn’t need to be a business, but to have syrup for their family. What is most important is the family gets to be together.”  

Back at the sugar house Anita is busy feeding the evaporator. The fresh sap pours into the storage tank. Gravity transports the sap into the evaporator.










Smoke rises above the sugar house while inside the room is filled with the sweet smell of sap boiling down to syrup. Anita rewards her grandsons with a sample of this season's syrup—a reward for all their work in the sugar bush empting buckets.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Old Rose Court

In the middle of February, spring is tantalizingly close, but the month of March often reminds us that winter has not released its grip, yet. The garden at Old Rose Court looks barren at this time of year—ungainly branches rise randomly from the snow.
 
 
By early to mid-June, the air is filled with the perfume of roses, many of them heritage roses that only bloom once a season. Reds, pinks, and whites are the predominant colors of these "old roses". Some of the varieties date from the 17th century.







While February often seems the longest month of the year, may Alexander Pope's lines and these photographs of Old Rose Court roses to remind us of another day.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter at the Market


Finally some say, "Winter has arrived!"

Others bemoan the snow that fell fast and furiously on Friday, January 13, 2012.

Regardless of one's preference, winter in Rochester has become unpredictable.  It used to be, old-timers tell us, that one didn't see the ground from November to April. Yes, one could count on a white Christmas. 

So far, winter has been kind to the farmers and vendors at the Public Market. Sunny skies and no snow enticed people out to shop.







But winter's blast on Friday the 13th changed all that. Only the hardy and hooked shoppers braved the wind and cold to come out the day after the season's first snow storm.




.

Regardless of the weather, many vendors' livelihoods depend upon their sales at the market. Many are selling fruits and vegetables they harvested in the fall and keep in storage to be as fresh as possible.

For locally grown produce, Tim Ophardt (Ophardt Farm, Brockport), pictured above, sells potatoes, onions and cabbage. Dave Brown, also pictured above, helps farmers Anita Amsler and Louie Bell (Oldhome Farm, Walworth) sell locally grown rutabaga, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, onions, and eggs.  Carol and Kevin Datthyn, pictured above (Abe Datthyn Farms, Sodus) are the only farmers raising and selling fingerling potatoes and shallots. Brent Bushart (Bushart Farm, Marion) sells a variety of potatoes from Yukon Gold to Irish.

Gary and Ginny Eaton (Eaton Farm, Ontario) are still selling Bosc pears and several variety of apples as do Roxy and Ike Datthyn (Datthyn Fruit Farm, Sodus). Tim Gilman (Okra Hill Farm, Albion) is the market's source for hydroponic tomatoes grown at Intergrow in Albion.

From nuts to free range meats, kitchen wares to baked goods—almost any food related items are available at the market. It is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, year round. Vendors are here to help stretch your food dollar as well as entice you to try new and different foods.
 
©Margaret W. Miyake