Monday, March 22, 2010

The Portfolio Project

It was a great day collaborating with fellow photographers Crystal Allen and Stacey Weisser, makeup artist extrordinair Rudy Miles and fabulous hair stylists Trish and Young from Bang Salon to create promotional images for our upcoming project...The Portfolio Project launching in 2010!

These are my two contributions from the day...

Model Leena Geeter

Wardrobe provided by Funklectic

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Denver Urban Homesteading Farmers Market

The Denver Urban Market, founded by James and Irina Bertini, is a new and year round farmers market located on the corner of 2nd and Santa Fe Drive @ 200 Santa Fe Drive.

Denver Urban Homesteading is dedicated to promoting local agricultural and good food.

When Irina moved to the United States from Central Asia she was dismayed by the poor quality of the processed foods eaten here. James reached his wife's level of awareness and after he began the campaign to change Denver's restrictive chicken and goat laws.

The owners of the market, James and Irina, are very much social entrepreneurs. According to Wikipedia, "A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change.

Whereas a business entrepreneur typically measures performance in profit and return, a social entrepreneur assesses success in terms of the impact s/he has on society as well as in profit and return..."

And so grows their efforts to bring the food of local and ethical farmers to the plates of Denver residents.


Lori Tigner owner of West Farm Goats in Morrison sells hydrating soap made from goats milk, eggs, wool and mohair yarn and hand made accessories.

Jeff Ballard, owner of My Mom's Pie, sells some Mmmmm Mmmm pies!

David Rippe, co-owner of Kiowa Valley Organics gets some eggs for customers. David is a second generation Colorado farmer. Both David and his wife Sara are purists when it comes to farming practices and love to educate the public on such practices.

Sara Rippe, co-owner of Kiowa Valley Organics, Inc. educates customers about grass fed and grass finished beef. Sara and David believe that by feeding their cows only grass, as they are naturally grass eaters, there systems stay at full function and do not need antibiotics. Their cows are both grass fed and grass finished. Some farmers feed the cows grass but then the last 100 days or so days of the cows life they are fed corn, for example, and that is called a corn finish.

Katie Aguero, 20, sells honey for her father Lee of Lee's Bees.

Katie explained when honey is heated it takes out the pollen which is beneficial for energy, allergies and nutrition.

Lee does not use any chemicals in the hives to kill mites he simply uses vinegar and silver. Lee said chemicals also kill many of the bees, his natural methods do not kill any bees.

Lee also explained that there is a lot of marketing fraud involved in honey. Clove Honey for example should only be called clover honey if the bee keeper is positive the bees are getting all the pollen from clover. He said there is not enough clover in Colorado to produce clover honey. The best way to be an organic bee keeper is to not use chemicals in the hives and to try and make sure nothing is sprayed for a 7 mile radius, the pollen territory of the bees.

The crowd bonds

Glen Davis with Mini Moos talks to patrons about his goat cheese

Bill Flentje with Ranch Foods Direct distributes meats from Colorado and nearby states. Bill said his business has grown exponentially since the market opened!

Bill distributes hormone and antibiotic free meats. He also uses a rinse and chill kill process which is inline with the Islamic Halal practice of meat preparation.In the Rinse and chill process the animal is killed then the blood is immediately drained and the meat chilled. The term Halal is used to designate food seen as permissible according to Islamic law.

Sorting greens Claudia Ebel, volunteer, enjoys being at the market and works hard to make the days go smoothly

Happy baby...

A customer beckons her dog to stay "out"

Neil Fischer of Buffalo Peak Ranch relaxes during a brief lull at he market. Neil's buffalo are free range and located a few hours south of Denver.

Anson Wilder, employee of Windsor Dairy, serves samples of raw milk. Raw milk can only be purchased with a membership to the dairy farm. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to kill any possible bacteria but this process also boils out the enzymes that help the body digest the milk. The owners of Windsor Diary are bovine veterinarians and believe in the benefits of raw milk and test the milk regularly.

The employees of Windsor Diary take a break to document the moment

Windsor Dairy's aged cheese

James Bertini, co-owner of the market, talks to and helps customers. James and his wife Irina are the owners and founders of the Denver Urban Homesteading Farmers Market. Read their story @

Candace Krebs, regional correspondent of Ag Journal, interviews and photograph James

A toddler pauses in the doorway to swig some organic apple juice

From left to right; Ryan Ravdonis with Papardelle's providing fine art pasta, Dionne Schrammeck, co-owner of Styria Bakery serving bread with as little as 4 ingredients and Chef Neuhold serving up smoked salmon and the best clam co-owner soup I've ever eaten!

Ryan said he normally does not allow digital images taken of him as he is a devout film guru, but he made and exception for me

Center Right, Jevon Cronan, son of owner, Cynthia Cronan, of Capra Collina Goat Ranch is serving up old world, fresh, range fed goat cheese.

Native Greens bring vegtables, letuce, tomato starters, and more from their hydoponic grenhouse in Kittredge

Wildfire Farms LLC, selling chicks and starter kits. Owned by Gina Grapengeter

Left, Anna Grapengeter, 10, shows the crowd some information about the chicks. Anna is a little chick expert.

For more information on Denver area farmers markets and local food producers visit