Mark Ruffalo & No-Fracking

This spring, I photographed actor Mark Ruffalo for the Arts & Leisure section of The New York Times. The story profiled both Ruffalo’s directorial debut and his mission to stop gas fracking in New York state. Ruffalo is a passionate opponent of fracking and speaks out often about the dangers to farms, waterways, and quality of life – in the newspaper, on television, and on his twitter account. Ruffalo requested we do his portrait on the Delaware River, where he goes fishing with his son. Read the story here.

Mark Ruffalo, no fracking, photo by Jennifer May

Restorative Agroforestry in Honduras

A shout-out to my brother, Ryan May, who is living in Honduras and planting a 3-acre garden for a community of people living in desperate poverty. In four months Ryan – and the small team of eager children and inexperienced adults he has patched together – have planted 3000 pineapple plants, 1.5KM of sugarcane, 700 bananas and plantain, 500 papayas, 100 passion fruit, cacao, tamarind, and more. To see Ryan’s photos of the project visit his blog. (Mind the nude under-the-waterfall shot.)

Ryan May, agroforester. Photographed on Salt Spring Island, B.C.
The train Ryan rides to access the community & garden. After the train was robbed and people’s shoes were stolen, he bought a motorbike.
Ryan bought watering cans for the residents and is teaching them how to care for their new plants. Here are Edwin and Carlito.

Rooftop Farming

Six floors up, with a view of the Manhattan skyline, the trend of urban farming is exemplified by the Brooklyn Grange. This one-acre farm produces a wide range of vegetables that supply New York City restaurants as well as several weekly farm stands. Ben Flanner and his crew planted the Brooklyn Grange in spring 2010, and plan to expand the farm to more rooftops throughout the city.

Brooklyn Grange urban farmer Ben Flanner
Ben Flanner, head-farmer and co-owner of the Brooklyn Grange, sprays diluted pepermint Dr. Bronner's soap on cauliflower plants to deter aphids.
the Brooklyn Grange is planted on the rooftop of this building
A one-acre farm grows on this rooftop in Long Island City, NY.

Butchers with Style

Two of my favorite people, Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura, have finished their internship programs at Fleisher’s and are moving to Los Angeles to open their own sustainable butcher shop. In the next few weeks they are signing the lease on their building, getting married legally in Connecticut, driving across the country, having a wedding ceremony on the west coast, and opening their new shop, Lindy & Grundy’s Meats. I will miss them, but it is California’s gain.

Check out Amy Scattergood’s post on the LA Weekly blog (with more photos of Erika & Amelia).

Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura of Lindy & Grundy's photo by Jennifer May

Farm Stay – NYT

Stony Creek Farm in Walton, NY, offers tent style camping (complete with flushing toilets, indoor gas stove, a wood floor platform, and furniture) to people who want the farm and camping experience without all the roughing it. I shot a story about it for the New York Times.

Slide Show – Farm Stay

Stony Creek Farm in Walton, NY, shot for the New York Times

North Winds Farm

Obviously, I don’t shy away from meat. But like so many others, I was a strict vegetarian for almost a decade. Luckily, there are now sources to buy meat that comes from well cared for animals that lived decent lives. On a recent shoot with farmer Richard Biezynski at North Winds Farm near Tivoli, NY, he told me if he hadn’t become a farmer, he would have been a vet. On season, you will often find me visiting his booth at the Woodstock Farmers’ Market.

Farmer Richard Biezynski and his son, Russell, at Northwind Farms, where they raise pigs
Food stories in New York's Hudson Valley and beyond from photographer Jennifer May