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Quite often, in my travels, I meet some people, or visit a place that sticks with me. Ravenhill Herb Farm proved to be one of these places, when I visited this past Spring, on an overcast, yet barefoot worthy day. Not only was the property gorgeous and offered me endless photo opportunities, but the owners Brea and Todd, and their two cherubic children were welcoming and informative. I wanted to stay all day and drink their homemade kombucha. Pet their two giant dogs. Chase chickens. Pick garlic scapes. I’m positive I out-stayed my welcome.

I’ve always remembered Ravenhill as the home of Andrew Yeoman and Noel Richardson, Vancouver Island farm celebrities, who in the late ’70’s, brought the farm back to its garden glory, as it was in the 1940’s. I have a couple of Noel’s books – Summer Delights and Winter Pleasures – two books that take us on herb-y journeys through their respective seasons, and teach us about growing and cooking herbs, a subject that Ravenhill has always been famous for.

So, when I learned that Brea and Todd bought Ravenhill in 2014, I was curious about what I would find. These two own and run Pacific Rim College in Victoria, a school of complementary and integrative medicine, plus run their farm, plus raise their children, plus grow every vegetable known to mankind on their 10 acres. They are inspiring to say the least. And I loved, loved photographing them and their space.

In all honesty, that day with them really did inspire me to resurrect my garden (subsequently destroyed by deer..grrr), revamp my kombucha and sauerkraut and other fermented food making factory, and rethink my 20-something-year-old consideration of Herbal Medicine and Holistic Nutrition as a career. (I quickly slid back into photographer mode). In any case, it was a pleasure to hang out with this lovely family, listen to some bees buzz, and dodge sideways running goats.

Here’s what I saw…

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best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

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vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

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vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

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vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

vancouver food and lifestyle photographer

 

Earlier this year, I created some still shots for a super exciting project. 291 Film Company has spent the past several  years traveling the world, creating a documentary called Bugs on the Menu – a study and observation on using insects as a sustainable protein. Not for everyone, I know, and if you’re squirmy, you might not like this. However, “two billion people eat bugs as part of their regular diets. And the trend is catching on.” More than just trendy, it is an important shift in environmental awareness, and simply, a state of mind.

Beyond the global impact and perspective though, 291 Film Company invited six local Victoria chefs to create amazing dishes out of crickets and mealworms! Not an easy feat, I would imagine, but if you know the chefs who were involved, you, like me, would be confident in their gourmet abilities. Here is what we shot/ate/loved.

Part and Parcel and their Cricket Cavatelli with Grant and Anna

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best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

Big Wheel Burger and their Critter Fritter Burger with Jason

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best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

Choux Choux Charcuterie and their Punaise Terrine with Matt

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best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

OLO and their Caramel Cricket Crunch Sorbet with Brad

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

Clay Pigeon and their Orange Ricotta Pancakes with Marko

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

And last but not least, Origin Bakery and their Hearty Bug Nut Brown Bread with Tara and Marian!

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

You can see the official Bugs on the Menu website here, developed by the wonderful Secret Location out of Toronto. And watch for the movie! In select cities, and coming soon to the Documentary Channel!

 

 

Last week, I attended and photographed a wonderful floral arrangement workshop hosted by the dynamic group of Thorn and Thistle and Verbena Floral Design.  Not only were we spoiled with the expertise of Vanessa, Alex and Nicole, but we also indulged and imbibed in cheese from Charelli’s, cupcakes from Ruth and Dean, and cocktails made with Ampersand gin (my favorite). Claire was there, too. She is the genius behind the truly incredible flowers we used, brought all the way from her small farm, Earth Candy Farm, on Saltspring Island.

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The workshop took place at Thorn and Thistle’s latest location, a bright and lovely spot adorned with such product as Wild Hill Botanicals! (who were so kind as to gift us all with a vanilla and almond lip balm). I recognized some of the faces that attended, and met new faces, too.

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best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

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best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

best food photographer best lifestyle photographer

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Thank you lovely ladies, for such a fun evening!

  • Cathy Raymond - March 30, 2016 - 10:02 pm

    This was a great evening! Such fun, great food, informative, and I came home with a lovely arrangement! Did I mention the lovely ladies who shared their expertise? Amazingly talented and helpful.
    Thanks to all of you!

  • Rebecca - March 30, 2016 - 10:19 pm

    Cathy, it really was! It was a pleasure meeting you and watching all of the beauty unfold! ~ Rebecca

Another New Year’s celebration has come and gone, and as I sit here with the February sun streaming through my office window, I am stunned once again at the beauty of Winter on this fair island.

January was rung in with the usual festivities…campfires, great food, bubbly and wonderful neighbours. We fell asleep to crackling embers, enveloped in dark, dark, quiet nights (where rest comes more easily) and got our share of fresh air. We visited magical forests and alpacas, played games, and pondered past and upcoming months.

My highlight though, was a mini-outing with my outdoor-savvy nephew. We wandered off for a few hours to the back acreage, and set up ‘camp’. He made tea on the fire, showed me how he set up his new sleeping hammock, and we hilariously attempted to get more than a bite full of bannock…the dough wrapped on a stick and roasted…before it fell into the ashes. Once our toes started to freeze, and we couldn’t feel our fingers, we quickly packed up and headed for home. Where there was a smoking chimney. And fried eggs. And dry socks.

If you feel inclined, follow him here on Instagram to see his savvy ways for yourself. He’s a genius! I swear. I’m not a biased auntie. :)  Backyard Survival

And to everyone…though I know I am several weeks late…HAPPY NEW YEAR! May all your dreams come true.

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best food photographer

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best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

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best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

best food and lifestyle photographer

S e a r c h