Archive for the ‘Local’ Category

I’m thinking of a new project, and I’d like your input.

Some background: I have a file full of photos of gorgeous local produce, I’ve played around with quality print-on-demand photobooks , and while I use a planner every day, I tend to make my own.

This year, I’m thinking of having a photo-filled planner printed with my locavore (local food) photo series.  Then I started thinking, you know, this might be a nice gift, and then I started thinking. Hmm, maybe I could put a few in my etsy shop, too.

Here’s a mock up of what a basic 2 page spread could look like (although, I already think I may move the photo) For this layout the book would be approximately 8.5 inches tall, by 5.5 inches wide, with a week on each two-page spread. Photos to reflect the harvest of that time of year (at least, here in New England)  so asparagus in the spring, apples in the fall etc. Probably some pages with larger photos and month or year at a glance calendars. Maybe a harvest calendar and resources for local food movements in the back,  just ’cause I can. Photos and design by me, printed at a local, independent, worker-owned shop with a soft cover  and coil binding (a heavy duty plastic version of the wire spiral binding you had on school note-books) so it lays flat.

handmade weekly planner/calendar with photo series of local food

MockUp of one week's page

I have a tendency to get excited about a new project and run headlong into it, but before I go and design and print a bunch of books, I’d like some feedback (really, honest suggestions and opinions appreciated).

If you use a planner/agenda/datebook, is it this sort of planner, that’s prioritizing design/appearance/photos, or the  ones that are super-functional with a block for every hour and a plain cover? how do you like it formatted? what size do you prefer? what extras do you like (year at a glance? month at a glance? pages for ____?) What would you change about the mock-up? Vegetables – am I the only one that wants to look at these?  And, about how much would you pay for a planner like that?

Any and all answers appreciated. Leave a comment here, or send me an email if you prefer at pioneervalleygirl [at] gmail [doc] com.

I’ll save the names of everyone who responds by 10/31/10 (you don’t have to answer all those questions – just give me your opinion) and will pull one name and send you a copy of the final product.

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I [heart] fall

I live in New England, fall is by far it’s best season. The leaves are turning, apple cider donuts are around, the farms stands are full of squash. *love*

So, I spent a sunny weekend picking apples, which I haven’t done for ages, even though there are orchards all around this area.

The abundance is amazing, with this last burst of harvest. So, I brought home an armload of squash, and some of those sugar pumpkins too.

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After last season’s blight, tomatoes have been abundant this summer, and I’m celebrating while they last – lately almost every supper features tomatoes.

red and yellow heirloom tomatoes

These are heirlooms, and just gorgeous – not conventionally pretty, but big and curvy and interesting (and delicious too)

yellow heirloom tomato still life

It’s a bit of a shame to chop such pretties up, but some of these are destined for canning for winter.

heirloom tomatoes

So, anyone have a favorite tomato recipe, while the bounty lasts?

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I [heart] Independent Bookstores

I adore independent bookstores. I spent alot of summers working in them, and alot more hours happily browsing through them. They’re full of good books, and book-people, and community events that celebrate books and ideas (and community, too, but I guess that’s implied in the name)

So this post about an independent neighborhood bookstore asking folks to chip in to help it get through the lean summer months, left me a bit depressed and crossing my fingers and holding my breath, but  not totally surprised: It’s been a hard stretch for the independents.

And, it inspired me to add a trip to my favorite local independent to make a few purchases I’ve been thinking about, to my plan for tomorrow.

And I thought I’d share a shiny, new (ok, not actually shiny, and only new to me) tool I stumbled across recently to point me to more bookstores wherever I go.

I live in an area with lots of bookstores (yay, for college towns!), but it’s nice to know I can find more, if I wander someplace else. And they’ve got some nice book-y content on the site to keep me occupied until then.

And, and, even though I heard about it as a place to find bookstores, see that subtitle “and other indies”?  A whole bunch of categories, including “Arts, Crafts & Yarn Shops”. Yep, ’cause I know you all need more craft-shop shopping excuses ; )

But really, shopping local/independent businesses is good for your community (and, I figure, good for your soul — mine at least) Check it out, maybe you’ll find a new favorite book/craft/coffee/something or other shop.

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Giving Thanks

This is less than my full farm share this week (there’s also cucumbers and zucchini and green garlic, and I bought some local peaches and my favorite local bread while I was at it).  I’m all for cornucopias and Thanksgiving in November, but when, all of a sudden we go from early season greens to a burst of colorful summer vegetables, I think ‘well, maybe late July/August, right in the middle of it all, is the time for giving thanks and harvest celebrations.’

still life summer vegetables

Of course, I would have said the same in the spring when I was really excited to see the first markets, and when I get apple cider in the fall, and gave home-canned jam to family at Christmas,  and a few other times every season. . .

Gratitude, who knew it came with the share?

(And,  anyone want to help a Yankee out and tell me what to do with those okra down front?)

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