From left to right: Merrilee Buchanan-Benson, Hannelore Ondrusek, Lise Hubbe, Nancy Sowdon, Mindi Thorton, Alice Fairfield, Julia Sunkler, Scottie Jones, Andrea Davis, Rebecca Waterhouse (artist). Farmers not pictured: Jen Olsen, Luisa Ponzi, Karen Finley, Tommie Van de Kamp, Jan Neilson.
If you weren’t there, you sure missed out! August 9th, the Corvallis Slow Foods chapter put on a dinner at Tyee Winery in honor of the 13 women participating in the “Ladies in the Fields” portrait series. Yes, that’s right–13! Lucky number 13 and last in the series is Mindi Thorton of Kiger Island Blues. A blueberry and kiwi farmer, Mindi became a farmer after retiring from working as a communications engineer for Bank of America in the Bay Area, California. Click on the “Paintings” tab to see her portrait.
Not everyone could make it to the dinner but the farmers that did are pictured here with the artist, a beautiful view of the Buchanan family century farm behind them. Chef Heidi Tunnell came up from Eugene and served a feast using products from farms featured in the portrait series as well as products from other local farms, and Tyee and Ponzi wines were available for sale and tasting. It was a lovely evening; a chance for the farmers, artist, and public to convene and celebrate the beauty that is local food.
The portraits will remain at the Tyee tasting room until the beginning of September, but this is the end of the series, for now at least. I am leaving in a couple of weeks to work for Sarah Lawrence College’s study-abroad program in Paris, where I will hopefully be able to start a new kind of series. The portraits are now for sale! Most have been sold already, but there are 5 left that need to go to good homes. They are pictured below. Portraits are 2’x3′ or 2’x2′ and are $600 each. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing a print, or would like a set of greeting cards with each of the farmer portraits ($20.00 +$3.00 shipping).
Many thanks go to Marilyn Henderson at Slow Food Corvallis for putting on such a wonderful event, to Tyee winery for hosting, to Heidi Tunnell for catering, and above all to the 13 women who provided me with such inspiration. Thank you all.