Roots.

A warning to vegetarian and vegan friends, or people who don’t like to see what they’re eating: this post contains an image from a meat packing plant.

I was one course shy of getting my Photojournalism degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Instead, I graduated with official credentials for Interactive Multimedia and minors in Art and Film. Although I’m not shooting high school lacrosse games and watermelon eating contests for the local paper (probably the reasons why I switched to multimedia; I wanted to skip the ladder and go directly to National Geographic), visual storytelling is a part of who I am. Also a part of who I am: Athens itself, as well as the values and skills I gained during my years there, both in the classroom and from the community.

For a few years, I’ve been gathering images to tell the story of the foods of Ohio.

cattle

I’ve taken pictures at meat packing plants…

chicken

…at farms…

pawpaw

… and at festivals.

Wherever there’s a community, there’s a food culture. I frequently argue that Southeast Ohio boasts the richest of Ohio’s food culture. I write this, of course, as an extremely biased observer, having left both my first car (1987 Chevy Cavalier) and a portion of my heart, in Athens.

So. All of this is to say that I’m a little excited for my weekend plans. Three of my favorite things are coming together, as I get a chance to visually capture part of the food story of Southeast, Ohio, as I participate (with Baseball Boy) on a Slow Food Tour of the Athens area. I’ll be cheating on both Casa Nueva and the Burrito Buggy (not to mention cheating on Maya) to dine with other Columbus-based food people at a new restaurant called Zoe. I’ll also take part of tours of the Athens Farmers Market, Integration Acres and Snowville Creamery.

Best case scenario? I have a great time and come away with stories and pictures that capture the magic that exists in this progressive Appalachian area. Worst case scenario? Reminded by what I’m missing, I quit my job and foreclose on my house to move in with these people and attend graduate school at Ohio University, in a quest to finally get that Photojournalism degree.

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6 thoughts on “Roots.

  1. Ash says:

    That’s awesome! Slow Food Movement rocks. Have fun, & climb Bong Hill once for me while you’re there!

  2. Matt says:

    Most of us left part of our heart in Athens, I think. What is this Zoe of which you speak?? Must try. I cheated on Casa last time I was down — but it was with another local, Miller’s Chicken. Apparently there’s also a wonderful new Italian place, too!

  3. leesilbee says:

    Love that picture of the guy tossing (Garlic?) in the basket!

  4. jill says:

    http://zoefinedining.com/

    I think it’s where Stephan’s used to be, but we’ll find out. I’ll probably buy a burrito from the buggy, even if it’s for consumption back home. Though – let’s be honest – I’ll probably get as far as Nelsonville to devour it, even if I’m stuffed.

    I guess that means I better buy two.

  5. Jenn says:

    Thanks for the dead cow warning. That’s one big beef.

    I feel like I’m the lone vegan who doesn’t have a problem with the slow food/locavore movement. If you’re going to choose to eat meat, it’s a far cry better to know that it once was an animal and that it was farmed responsibly and not part of the scary factory farms making mystery meat.

    OK, now I’m off to hide from the vegan police.

  6. Jaydubs says:

    I’ll second what Jenn said (even though I’m a regular ol’ vegetarian, not a vegan) on the slow food/locavore stuff. I’d also say that, while I appreciate your heads-up on the pic, I don’t believe people–particularly those who eat meat–should close their eyes to what it actually is/was. So, for that, I’m glad you posted the photograph.

    Anyway, when are we gonna get the deets about your trip?

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