Kelley Heneveld has been taking photos documenting local food, Hoosier farmers and the folks who live off of and love them for years (Erina Ludwig wrote about her Farm Stories for IndySpectator last fall). In January, she turned her lens (and moved her life) to Europe. Through her images and words, she's been chronicling the triumphs and travails of farms - all the while learning & gleaning experiential knowledge about what is and what isn't working in the current food industry. This Friday, Kelley is showing her work as part of Indy's First Friday gallery festivities at Foundry Provisions, 6-10pm. Here's a quick snapshot, culled from her blog & website, of her most recent journey(s):

On Presence (from mid-March): Six and a half years ago I came to France and fell in love with food. I specifically remember cutting up zucchini in the quintessential French-style kitchen with sunlight pouring through the tall windows behind me. I was 21, on my first big adventure, and very, very lonely… And without any forethought of the parallels, here I am, 27 years old, chopping up zucchini for dinner in France, yet again. This time, I’m completely alone and at this precise moment, that’s okay. I’m learning to carry “home” with me. I can see my day as a series of moments- witnessing an old couple walk steadily down the narrow road; practicing my French with the kind and patient woman at the etal du fromage; and of course, indulging in pain au chocolat much too often.

It’s far from perfect or ideal. In fact, yesterday I was ready to leave. But it’s about pushing through and getting to the moments when I remember to see all of the beauty, no matter how I feel... So here’s to growing up, solo adventures, and being present in the full life that surrounds us each and every day. Keep Reading>

On Farm Stories Reason for Being: Farm Stories connects people with farmers who encourage healthy stewardship of our bodies, communities, and earth. Through storytelling, we introduce you to farmers who practice sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry, whose voices are often ignored and values overlooked. Our goal is to educate people about their food choices and inspire a new generation to better our world.

The Beginning: Questions (late January): Through the many conversations that I’ve had with farmers over the last couple weeks, I'm being confronted with hard facts that are challenging my food ideals and therefore the shape of Farm Stories. For this reason, I’ve put off blogging since being in England. I thought you may be disappointed… but that’s really because I’m a bit disappointed. My experiences have not been what I expected and it’s raising many questions. What if keeping laying hens in cages is not only a more economically viable option for farmers, but keeps happy and healthy birds too? What if supermarkets are actually sourcing local foods? Is the Slow Food perspective actually supporting farmers and food producers?  Is it too privileged and pretentious to expect to eat organic, local food?

So now my question is, how do I best “connect people with farmers who encourage healthy stewardship of our bodies, communities, and earth”? The artist in me only wants to share beautiful images. The activist in me wants to share the nitty gritty, bad and the ugly. Ultimately I want truth, which I know can be seen in many ways.

I still don’t know exactly what to think or do but I’m easing into the questions. I do know that I don’t want to tell a “Food, Inc” type story, damning The Man. Rather, my objective is to share something positive and hopeful. Keep Reading>

On Woodentop Farm (mid April): If I write a book about my life, I dare say Woodentop Farm deserves an entire chapter. I spent two weeks there and it was quite an experience. It'd probably be the most interesting story, full of colorful characters and strange occurrences. Alas, I am not purely in search of another chapter, more interesting than the last, for my autobiography. I'm out to learn about farmers who are thoughtful in their practices and are contributing to the betterment of our food system. While Woodentop wasn't that, there were some beautiful moments and gorgeous animals, so I figured I'd share anyways. Keep reading>

On Daily Life (mid March): In February I finally returned to life of the small farmer. I spent two weeks at Northdown Orchard, a vegetable farm in Basingstoke, England. I’ll introduce you to Northdown through a picture of “home life” to begin: I love that I spent an entire day outside under the open sky. I harvested and cleaned leeks, making them “look sexy” as Andy put it, and weighed veg for the boxes that will be distributed tomorrow. Now I’m sitting in the living room near the wood burning stove. This is right… Keep reading>
Kelley Heneveld