We have known Bob Dash for a decade, both as a neighbor and friend. He’s a member of the Wise Acres community across the road, a dedicated teacher, and a photographer with a telling eye. He’s also imbued with that wonderful quality, patience, which all the best shooters possess.
A while back, we suggested that Bob and his camera spend some time looking at Persephone Farm. The results, we think, are often stunning and we’d like to share them with you. You can see even more of Bob’s work, and more of his farm photography, on his website, http://www.robertdashphotography.com/
Back in March when I was first asked to photograph Persephone Farm for The Season, I was intrigued by the assignment. Living across from this property for two decades, I’ve witnessed a tremendous influx of energy and productivity since Persephone began. Although I’ve spent dozens of hours there over the years, I wasn’t prepared for the richness and depth that I’ve found.
Wandering around with my camera at all hours of the day has given me the excuse to pause and find the story within the story. The place teems with intensity; all the cycles of birth and death are played out by untold numbers of life forms, from the two-legged to the hundred-legged and everyone in between. Enter the gate or the greenhouse door into an inspired land where life hops, twists, digs, culls, climbs, flies, laughs, and above all, becomes its best.
Scarecrow and silver chimes: Sometimes drastic action is called for to prevent crop loss. Hanging this dead crow in the lower field did keep some of the crows away. I was drawn to the contrast of old silver chimes next to this ominous talisman.
Here’s some detail of the same crow wing two months after the previous shot.
Steamy compost—Louisa’s potent brew. So much effort to create abundant produce goes on behind the scenes. The complex art of soil enrichment with compost is one key to that success. When I taste a delicious strawberry or carrot from Persephone I generally don’t think about steaming straw and rotten plant matter—but here it is.
Kale goes out in flames. I love the “spring colors” of brassica leaves as they decay. Chlorophyll fades first, just like with maple leaves, and a host of brilliant pigments are revealed.
Sometimes the smallest life forms make the greatest contributions– the surface of this compost puddle is covered with springtails, minute hopping insects who are masters at speeding up plant decay.
Persephone never misses out on the chance to create yet another vegetable bed.
Mounds of lavender are remarkably spherical; I couldn’t resist blurring the rim to accentuate the effect.
Joel’s halo just proves what we all know: that the farm interns are all angels.
Here’s newly-peeled garlic on the way to the drying racks.
During community gatherings at Persephone, it’s hard to find anyone who isn’t smiling.
Rebecca and her lavender gifts–little did I know that this one was for me.
Tags: Bob Dash