CEO PeakPlate.com, foodie, activist, Photographer, writer
Over the past 25 years, Julie Ann Fineman has created a diversity of work photographing on five of the world’s seven continents. Her diverse images include: food and travel for Bon Appetit magazine, celebrities for magazines, ad campaigns for TV shows, posters, and product endorsements (click here to view this work). Widening her lens, in 2011 Julie took a sabbatical (while accepting assignments), living a complete immersion in organic farming at Rainbeau Ridge in Westchester County, NY.
A kaleidoscope of experiences on the farm cast its spell on Julie. She’ll never forget goats breeding and dying right before her eyes, or the midwifery of births late into the snowy night, and a most unusual relationship with ‘Genki’ the peahen. There were lovely walks with Llulu the llama. Julie participated in the daily turning of incubated turkey eggs, witnessed their hatching and corralled them every eve into their coop (not to mention the chickens and peacocks), kids growing, milking does, and making goat cheese. And, then, there was mind-bending strategic planning for the farm…mental somersaults of insuring proper crop rotation, succession planting, and seed calculations per bed space requirements, while landing each crop safely into the ground; coupled with the madness of future uncertainty, such as the potential loss of over 300 tomato seedlings. With incredible persistence and an ultimate display of faith across the board she saw it all through. Organic farming is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. To read Julie’s blogs from the farm, click here.
Now, you can ride shotgun on Julie’s road trips across the American landscape in her refreshing body of blogging and photography for the Huffington Post. A writer-photographer, Julie introduces you to innovative professionals who are pushing the boundaries of a healthier and more sustainable food supply. They are farmers and agro-ecologists, winemakers and beekeepers, butchers and bakers, specialty grocers and mega food chains that feature locally sourced foods. Julie keeps it real, whether she’s writing about handmade bread crafted from Kernza flour, fermented pinot noir starter and indigenous yeasts, New Mexican hybrid dishes serving up ancient Native American beans, or a close-up and personal look into the biology of earthworms and the rich enzymatic “black gold” trail they leave behind.
Julie’s destination points are leading organic farms and research institutions, where she delves into issues like heirloom seed saving and soil microbiology – awakening you to the possibilities of your own backyard. She brings the farm part "home" to the table, featuring innovative chefs who buy local – and practice super high integrity sourcing – to help inspire you to think anew in your markets and kitchen.
Julie believes in our ability to improve our future while being responsive to Joan Dye Gussow’s belief, “We desperately need to look outside ourselves, uncomfortable as it may be to see a dying world around us.”
Julie reflects that we are an integral part of a living fabric – an exchange program with the earth’s ecosystem. She aligns herself with The Greenhorns – a group of young farmers who are spearheading a new movement – when they assert, “The time has come for us to embrace farming and its practitioners—to recognize their service, to praise them, and to pay them a deserved wage. The time has come for the agricultural arts, so valued by our forefathers, to inspire the best, brightest and most dedicated people to enter the field. Farming is hard work, it is good work, it is bold work. Farming means nurturing the interface of humanity and ecology, cherishing that delicate, complex and fragrant soil. Bringing forth food, life and a sustained well-being for this country.”