“Grow. Share. Prepare.” documents five Central Texas farming families over the course of 18 months, a project I undertook in collaboration with the Austin-based nonprofit Sustainable Food Center. Before taking on this project I’d been on a farm only once in my life. Growing up in a small Italian Boston neighborhood—the narrow alleys, bustling streets and (now long-gone) specialized grocers—my experience didn’t train me to consider where food actually comes from. I have always had an appreciation for food; my family owned an Italian bakery and we all gathered every Sunday around my Nana’s table for pasta dinner. I knew farming was probably a hard job, but a year and a half spent documenting farmers for this project showed me exactly how much work is involved in raising food and animals, especially sustainably and organically here in Texas.
Many of us have a pat idea of what farms and farmers look like. This Central Texas community encompasses a range of local farmers, from third-generation farm families to newly passionate urban farmers. This project taught me that good food requires good dirt, seeds, water and a lot of care, and that farming is a 24-hour job. Most importantly, I learned to not take food for granted.
See more of Austin photographer Jo Ann Santangelo’s work at www.joannsantangelo.com.
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