On connecting with local foods (and other things)

I was in Denver on Thursday doing some errands, including buying a tripod so I can take photos of the swatches for the book that’s coming out this fall (statement made with force and a determination to catch up, because I have to catch up).

For previous books, I’ve been able to put the swatches directly on the scanner. For this one, some of them are too big . . . and I’ve tried knitting them with finer yarn, but the results just don’t look right . . . the finer yarns would be terrific for a knitted project that’s to be used as knitting, but they don’t meet the needs of the printed page.

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So I need to be able to take perfectly square, clear photographs of swatches, some very long. Thus the quest for a tripod with a reversible center post, the ability to steadily support a minimum of 9 pounds/4.1 kg and some other attributes. I’d done a bunch of research online, but it was impossible to tell whether what I saw would do what I needed without examining an array of possibilities in person.

(By the way, the colors and specific yarns used to knit the swatches have been chosen to work well in black-and-white print reproduction. Also by the way, if the computers had not messed up repeatedly for just about four months I would already have printed advance reading copies of this book, which means I’d have already resolved this and a bunch of other challenges. Moving right along, there’s been little posting around here because I’ve been making swatches. And doing a few rows on my dark-blue cardigan now and then, just to keep it fresh in my mind.)

Anyway, while I was in the city I didn’t have time for WaterCourse or Jerusalem (or to make a new discovery), so I stopped for a salad-bar-and-muffin lunch at Whole Foods and picked up a copy of a brand-new magazine about local foods, called Edible Front Range, shown below with the tripod that promises to save my sanity and one of the swatches that’s propelling me into solving yet another technical problem (because in the appropriate yarn it’s about 3 inches/7.5 cm longer than the scanner bed).

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A series of Edible publications is apparently springing up as part of a franchise operation throughout the U.S. Magazines are just being released or are in the works for other places I’ve lived (in no particular order): Seattle, Iowa, the upcoming Pioneer Valley, and close-enough-to-where-I-was Twin Cities and Chicago

Hmmm. I’ve been to all the places covered so far by Edible Communications publications except the
Hawaiian islands, and I’m not sure I’ve been in Austin, although I’ve
definitely traveled across Texas by car. Traveling across Texas (or Montana, or Kansas, or Saskatchewan) by car is something you don’t
forget (it’s quite far across Ontario, of course, but there’s more readily apparent variety en route; same with Quebec). The drive across Texas was so many years ago that I don’t remember whether Austin was
on the highways we traveled, and the city would have changed since then anyway. . . . The highways were still mostly two-lane. . . . I think I’ve been on Texas-crossing trajectories both farther north and farther south than Austin. . . .

These magazine launches all appear to be new. What a massive enterprise. It will be interesting to see when and how the variants develop their own characters within the format. These would be great resources for traveling, too.

(Here’s how to get started with an Edible Your Place publication for an area that isn’t being served yet.)
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My analysis of the first issue of Edible Front Range: Interesting articles and unusually good writing (by the estimable Claire Walter, among others). I actually read the whole magazine (I usually read like a skipping stone . . . ).

They need to work on their photography. Even the custom photos look like stock, and I definitely wanted to see more. Food is sensuous, but I didn’t perceive much of that through the photos that were used, although they did a good job with composition and cropping on the images they did include. The personality and individuality of the foods and people just didn’t come through, and the apparent lack of captions didn’t help (if there were captions, I couldn’t find them). My guess is that this preliminary issue was put together quickly, and photos can be challenging to acquire and process (see tripod discussion above). Fine writing goes a long way for me, and it saved the day here.

There’s a whole cluster of local food-related businesses in a part of Denver that I’ve driven through many times. I wouldn’t have known they were there. Now I do, and we’ll be able to explore next time we’re in the urban area. There’s a winery, a bakery, a coffee roaster, a candy factory, and more. . . . All on north Washington. . . . I know where there’s a winery closer to home, many excellent breweries (if I liked beer I think I would be blissed out by the alternatives), and several cheesemakers, and a bunch of dog biscuit outfits (I wonder if the Edibles will include critter crunchies?).

It would be fun to get involved in the Slow Food movement in this area, if I weren’t spending so much time working on the Slow Fiber movement (I just made that up . . . it sounds a little odd).

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6 Responses

  1. Is it wrong that I was also distracted looking at your rug?

  2. And yes… my own involvement in the slow fiber movement seems to take away from all sorts of other movements, including the “eat less crap” movement. Sigh!

  3. Abby, it’s a wonderful rug. It’s handspun and natural-dyed. I love it. I do yoga on it every morning.

  4. Estimable! I’m flattered. I’ve never been called that before. The edibleCommunities project is indeed innovative and has been very successful in places where it has been around for a while. Hopefully, that will happen in Colorado too.

    I do maintain a Colorado-focused food blog at http://culinary-colorado.blogspot.com and hope you and your blog visitors will take a look when you/they are not thinking about the fabric arts.

    I’m going to look around this blog a bit more too.

  5. I just started a new Yahoo! Group called Localvores of Colorado after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Come join us and bring all your friends over, too! LOL.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/localvores-co

    Dani

  6. Hey, I’m so glad to see you posting again…I was just dropping by to check on you and see if I needed to email you and make sure things were ok over there…

    About BEA, from all reports I’ve read, I’m not sure you missed much this year. And yeah, a trip out of the office, to think about good food and tripods is sometimes totally necessary. The home office can sometimes get claustrophobic. I realized on Friday when I went to run errands that I hadn’t used a car in a week and thus hadn’t walked more than a mile in any direction from home. Good for gas savings, bad for my mental stimulation…

    Guess I am also part of the Slow Fiber movement. I am probably also part of the slow food movement, but only informally. Now that my air conditioning is on the blink, I may also be part of the “slow work” movement?!

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