Farmer Portraits: Jacques Laboile (Bon Femme)

Jacques Laboile, originally from France, keeps bees all over Columbia (these were just in his backyard).  He prides himself on subtle flavors other than clover honey.  Besides making honey, he also is the Executive Chef of Boone County National Bank, and all around awesome guy.  Strike up a conversation with him next time you see him at the farmers market.


Farmer Portraits: Missouri Legacy Beef

Located in Salisbury, MO Mark and Susie have been trying to raise cattle like his grandfather did 100 years ago. The cattle are combination grass and grain fed, and they

have well over 1000 acres for the cattle to graze and roam on. Good mission, great beef. I’m going to be making tacos de lengua this weekend (tongue!) and eating the smoked brisket soon too.

Cinco de Mayo Cooking Demo with Chef LaLa

With a name like Chef LaLa and a cookbook called Latin Lover Lite, Laura Diaz-Brown highlights her funky — and easily marketable — side. But after a Cinco de Mayo cooking demonstration, I found more to admire about the woman.

Chef LaLa cooked and spoke at an Inside Columbia Magazine event Friday night. She was also in town for the Speaking of Women’s Health conference. In an hour, I learned she used to be a pop singer, went to med school to be a heart and lung specialist, became a certified nutritionist and studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

She also made four dishes in real time — without the tricks cooking demonstrators usually use. On her menu was:

  • Coca-Cola-Marinated Pork with Fruit Salad
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Colorful Bean Salad (Recipe on her website here.)

Continue reading “Cinco de Mayo Cooking Demo with Chef LaLa”

Farmer Portraits: Danjo Farms

Dan & Joanne Nelson run a pretty busy farm up in Moberly, MO.  Known for their heirloom tomatoes (more than 50 varieties!), they also grow a plethora of produce and berries, keep a few hogs, chickens and turkeys.  They run a country store, and consider themselves the largest CSA (community supported agriculture) in the area.  They’re in the process of building a professional kitchen to promote Joanne’s baking.   Their products are often found at the three farmer’s markets nearby.

Farmer Portraits: The Stanton Boys

Dustin (16) and Austin (12) Stanton, of Centralia, MO sell the eggs from their 3,000 free range hens at the Farmer’s Market

every Saturday. The farm has been in their family, “longer than Boone County has been Boone County.” More to

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come as the week goes on…

My Next Project

In my final 30 days here on campus, I am embarking on my Final Capstone Picture Essay.  In non photo-j speak, its the culmination of my four year education put into one project.  A picture story focuses on one person, one story, and generally has a complication or some sort of plot.  An essay on the other hand, is a series of photographs on one topic or issue, that the photographer feels merits discussion, illumination, etc.

Since I do not feel I can accurately tell someone's story in only 30 days, I have chosen to work on an essay, and am calling it “Farmer Portraits”, tentatively.  Essentially, I will be going around to local farms and growers, setting up a white backdrop, one umbrella-ed light, and make the subject's portraits at dawn or dusk.  Friday was my first “fact-finding” mission was at Pierpont Farms just south of town.  Rob and Angela have a great new system up that kinda of acts like a green house for a half-acre.  When I do their individual write-up, of course, I'll include all these details, but bottom-line, they were incredibly friendly, gave me a whole tour of their beautiful property, and on top of that, it was a gorgeous day.  If you didn't go outside Friday, you missed out.

Other families I plan on visiting so far:  Bonne Femme (honey), Goatsbeard (goats), HWL Meats (bison), and the Stanton boys (chickens).  If you, or anyone you know is willing to let me make their portrait on their property, please let me know.