The Local Lens – Oxbow Farms

I met Noella, co-operator of Oxbow Farms a few weeks ago at Farmer Browns Farmer’s Market in Apalachin, NY. Wow, that’s a lot of Farms in one sentence! Intrigued by the leap of faith she and her husband, Tim took to be the first local farmers to set up in FBM’s marketplace; I had to know more, so I packed up my gear and met her under the marketplace tent.

As a business owner, she’s engaging, knowledgeable and caring- everything you would imagine from a farmer who is dedicated to “growing food while learning resilience and adaptation in a changing world.” That’s their Instagram business description! As Covid restrictions begin to lift across the world and in the Southern Tier region of Upstate NY, where Oxbow Farms thrives, I knew this business would be the next focus of The Local Lens. Couldn’t we all learn a bit of resilience and adaptation in our changing world!

Noella and Tim had the same goals of producing food on a small scale with practices that support farm ecology without the use of any fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. The catch? They lived states apart, one from Massachusetts and one from Pennsylvania. They settled as a 29 acre, family-run farm located in a beautiful valley in Chemung County, NY and have 2 adorable girls who can be seen in the background learning the family tradition.

The farm sees the first and last frosts of every season, is the home of 6 mobile hoop houses, one wood-heated greenhouse, and has the adaptability to grow over 40 different crops each season. At this point in the growing season, their focus is on all kinds of lettuce. To offer a unique crop, Oxbow turned its focus to Asian greens like Mizuna & Senposai. To learn more about these amazing greens, drop Noella or Tim a message through their website where you can find a kitchen-full of recipes on how to eat these greens.

Where can you buy their products? 2021 marks our 12th season Noella and Tim can be found filling the bags of shoppers at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. They’re located at Stall 69, April through December.  

Most recently, they have graced Farmer Browns Marketplace, under the large white tent at the entrance, Fridays 1- 5pm. Owner, Logan Keeney is delighted to have them as his roots in planting began at a organic vegetable farm in Pennsylvania.

An interesting note about Oxbow Farms, as we all have something more than what appears to “Be” at face value… they love Goats and have Bucklings for sale! Their pedigree-worthy Goat, Pumpkin produced 3 Bucklings this season- Fred, George, and Ron. If you’re like me and know very little about goats, a Buckling is a young male less than a year old.

Interested in purchasing a buckling or wanting more information about Oxbow Farms? Connect with owners Noella and Tim by following any of the links in this post or use the links below:

https://www.oxbowfarmny.com

https://www.instagram.com/oxbowfarmny/

Email: oxbowfarmer@gmail.com
Phone: 607-598-7193

The Local Lens – Hygge Home, Owego NY

This week’s featured small business is an absolutely adorable find nestled in the Historic District of Owego, NY. Hygge Home is not only a downtown shop, it’s a way of living for owner, business woman and mother, Mandy Neira.

While reading a book about familial relationships worldwide, she stumbled upon the Danish concept, Hygge pronounced “hyoo·guh,” meaning Cozy. Completely inspired by the concept, she visited the Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Denmark and fell in love with the lifestyle and the people embracing it.

Mandy tested the concept in a small kiosk, a natural fit for the quaint town of Owego, NY and within a year, moved into a bigger space with much more inventory at 185 Front Street. Before getting one foot in the store that’s enticing you to enter with the scent of aromatherapy, you’re reminded of the concept of Cozy stamped on the concrete doorstep. It’s as if little Gnomes are wafting the scent beneath your nose and fairies are tugging your clothing to enter.

Once inside, there’s an instant feeling of calm wrapped up in an incredible visual of unique de’cor items designed to create a cozy sanctuary within your home.

Every corner is deliberately arranged with concept of creating a cozy, loving, nurturing environment for you, your family – even your pets! Creating a feeling of complete calm; scented candles, essential oils and Palo Santo are intricately displayed in every corner while blankets, pillows, journals and mugs adorn the furniture begging you to “sit a while.”

With so much technology and overwhelming social media in our lives, Mandy believes “we need to disconnect and focus on simplicity and connection with those we Love.”

Another of Mandy’s passionate thoughts is “to create a special place where people can enjoy the moment with peace, relaxation and laughter – a place to host friends, read, journal and find stillness for their well being.” She leaves nothing out when stocking the store with Hygge Home products – there’s even a section designated for entertaining family and friends.

If you haven’t ventured into this shop yet, it’s a must see! Your husband might not be thrilled, but you will definitely leave with an entirely new outlook on decorating your Home. Open Wednesday through Saturday 11- 5pm and Sunday 11- 3pm, Mandy will be there with a warm smile on her face to greet you!

The best part of photographing Children

My previous blog post chatted about prepping for First Holy Communion photographs – the “ins and outs” from the parent’s side of things. This post is what we can learn from children during the event. Really, who’s the student here? Me!!!

As I began the morning, I had a whole new lighting set up to make things more protected taking Covid into account. Instead of a wide open set, I had created a bit of a cocoon to slide one child into at time. First boy into the set stops me dead in my tracks, “Ummm, can I say something?” Me, “Sure! are you uncomfortable? Is everything ok?” Boy…”Oh yeah, I just think this is like sooooomething out of a movie- are you gonna clone me in here or anything?” Ha ha ha! What do you say to that?!! This is 7:45 a.m. GREAT way to start my day! I loved it!

I’m about 20 minutes into shooting, and posing is happening effortlessly. I think to myself, these parents are incredible, they must show their children images of “how” they want them to smile, or look serious, etc. So I just ask… “How did you know how to give me such a great little smile just now?” Answer… “Oh I didn’t, I just really like your sneakers and they made me smile.” There you have it – posing is all in the shoes! I do try to “dress down” when working with kids and I had a pair of floral printed Chuck Taylors on… I might need to start a collection!

Continuing with the theme of clothing as it was a hot topic this particular morning, I quickly fell in love with the dresses and asked, “Oh my goodness, this dress is so unique, did you pick it out yourself?” Without a care in the world as if we were in the Royal Palace prepping for Tea, “This one? Ohhhhh Noooooo, Harper picked it out for me, of course!” lol! I really had to keep my composure on THAT one, because THAT was hysterical!

I think it’s important to introduce yourself to children. They have all the same feelings as we do, so I try to let them know whose working with them to create their portrait that day. As more kids arrive and people are buzzing around, I sometimes forget, so I accidentally introduced myself twice to one child. I saw the look on her face,… “did I already tell you that?” Answer… “Um yes, you did, but that’s ok Lisa, because I’ve been wanting to tell you I really like your necklace- it reminds me a Jelly Beans!” PRICELESS!

There’s always a few children that just aren’t comfortable smiling- whether they don’t like their teeth or they’re afraid to be silly because it’s a Church event, who knows why. I try to get them out of the moment by asking about their pets. This morning, I got the entire history of the family pet, as well as the family! “Do you have a pet? A dog or a cat in your house?” Loooong streaming answer… “Yessss. A dog. He’s kinda like Bolt. Acts like Bolt too. Do you know the movie, Bolt?” Me…”uhhhh, Yes, I do- great movie!” Continuing….”oh yeeaaaaah, well he even runs around like him, zoom zoom, like lightning and then we have to yell his name to calm him down. My Grandmother named him by the way. She said we have to name him Bolt and the next thing you knew, we called him Bolt.” At this point, I’d forgotten the whole reason I asked about a pet. “How did we get to talking about Bolt?” “I don’t know. You were taking my photo and asked me if I had any smiles in my back pocket, and then, You asked me about my pets.” RIGHT!!! Schooled again!

I feel thoroughly prepared for next year. I need a new wardrobe, a name tag made of candy, and a fashionista to pick my clothing for the event! What a treat to work with kids!!!

http://www.thecameraseye.biz

Laura – 2019 Owego Free Academy Senior

Meet Laura, a 2019 senior at Owego Free Academy! I had a blast shooting with her, her mom, and her friend Maria.

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For her senior session, Laura wanted outfits that would reflect all her different sides. She found most of her clothes at a consignment store the day before!

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Laura does a lot of theater and music and runs cross-country. She also just returned from a one-year Rotary exchange program in northern Thailand.

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A big thanks to Riverow Books for letting us borrow a children’s book. I love when we can incorporate props into a senior session 🙂

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A huge thank you to Laura for a great senior session with The Camera’s Eye! Best of luck in your last year at OFA 🙂

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Thanks to ALL of my 2019 seniors and families! Senior sessions might be over, but it’s never too early to start thinking about grad announcements. And if you want to use any of your photos for holiday cards, I need your orders in by Dec 1.! Contact me today 🙂

Hospitality Meets History at Owego’s Belva Lockwood Inn

I’m so excited to collaborate with Julie Loveless, who co-owns the Belva Lockwood Inn with her husband Ike, on our upcoming custom planting auction this Friday and Saturday!

Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY

Julie and Ike bought and have been renovating the historic building, which was in need of repair. They have already enjoyed a spot on HGTV’s House Hunters, which grabbed them international attention (after 6 days of shooting for the 22 minutes of airtime!). They are on their way to opening the inn during this upcoming holiday season.

As Julie puts it: “My vision for the Inn is to provide a unique guest experience, including the history of the building. The furnishings will be a mix of old and new with plenty of technology mixed in. We will have on-site catering available for intimate parties and weddings.”

 

Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY

While the inn’s future is invigorating, its history and namesake is just as important. Julie explains: “The thing that got me about Belva is that I was born, raised and educated in this country, and never heard of Belva Ann Lockwood until I bought this house.  She ran on a national ticket for Presidency twice in 1884 and 1888 and stood for equal rights for all people. She’d be at the forefront of the equal rights movement today, but she’s not here, so I feel strongly that it is our job to help spread her message.

Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY

I’ve photographed Julie tour countless guests through the renovation project and I can feel her passion when she speaks of Belva. It moves me to tears, something very rare while working behind my lens!
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To own a piece of our recent beautification project and support the United Way, don’t miss our custom planting auction tomorrow and Saturday!
#myflextbex, #belikebelva, #belvalockwoodinn, #owego, NY, #IloveNewYork, #TheCameraseye

Custom Planting and More with Farmer Brown’s Marketplace

One of my absolute fave local businesses is Farmer Brown’s Marketplace! I’ve had the chance to connect with new owner Logan, who jumped in to help us beauty up the Bella Lockwood Inn and is one of the organizers of our planting auction this Friday and Saturday!

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Logan, who has a self-described “rather diverse background in horticulture,” became the owner of Farmer Brown’s a little over a year ago, and he has HUGE plans for the business 🙂

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In his first season alone, he improved the store display and shopping experience, featuring products that were 85% homegrown, and even increasing sales despite the wonky weather we went through this year in the Southern Tier!

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At Farmer Brown’s, you can now enjoy rewards for frequent purchases. Even more exciting, Logan has brought his brother-in-law Adam R. Coney on board as house designer, which puts them on the path of custom planting!

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Also, just because the temps are dropping doesn’t mean Farmer Brown’s is done for the season. This year, keep an eye out for home-grown poinsettias and ‘Live From New York State’ Christmas trees. Logan and Adam hope to move to a year-round farmers market-style business, and are using this year’s holiday season to test the waters 🙂

To own a piece of Logan and Adam’s custom work and support The United Way at the same time, please visit our plant auction Facebook page! The auction is hosted by The Camera’s Eye, Farmer Brown’s Marketplace, and the Belva Lockwood Inn – sneak peeks are available up until the auction opens on Friday September 28th!

Owego Custom Planting Auction This Week!

As the owner of The Camera’s Eye, I find networking with business owners vital to thriving in small upstate NY!  Last week, I shared my love of gardening with the owners of the soon-to-open Belva Lockwood Inn and scored a fun gardening project that exploded with creativity and opportunity for two other local shops! Read through to learn how THIS WEEK you can own a piece of our project and support The United Way at the same time 🙂
Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY
Locals Julie and Ike Loveless purchased a dilapidated building at 249 Front St. Owego, NY and gained more than they bargained for with both a spot on the hit HGTV television show House Hunters AND a striking piece of history from the 1800s.

Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY

When Julie asked me to “fancy up” the half-torn-down porch for an official tour by travel bloggers converging for an international TBEX conference in Corning NY, I was “game on!” I drew in Logan Keeney, the new owner of Farmer Brown’s Marketplace, not only because his flowers adorn my property; his brother-in-law designer, Adam Coney, also created a stunning arrangement across the street from my studio that I used as a photo backdrop all summer!

Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY

Adam wanted to incorporate a shabby chic style to match the re-purposing of the old house, so off I went to Rusty and Jewel to beg owner Lisa Bystrak for wares that could create the look Adam desired.

#belikebelva, #belvalockwoodinn, #owego, NY, #IloveNewYork, #hgtv, #TheCameraseye
Adam named the custom arrangements “A Cinderella Story” because they literally came to life in one night! The event went off fantastically, and construction at the Inn is now back in full force.  Logan and I can’t handle seeing the Cinderella arrangements become covered in deck stain and wood-working dust, so we’ve decided to auction them off on Facebook with proceeds benefiting the United Way! Bidding is Friday and Saturday, September 28th and 29th – check out our sneak peaks all week!
#myflextbex, #belikebelva, #belvalockwoodinn, #owego, NY, #IloveNewYork, #TheCameraseye
Belva Lockwood Inn by The Camera's Eye, Owego NY

MacKenzie – 2019 Maine Endwell Senior

Meet one of our 2019 seniors at The Camera’s Eye – MacKenzie, a soccer player from Maine Endwell!

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MacKenzie is one of my many athletic seniors this year, and I really love her style! She brought a striking striped dress to the shoot, and a really soothing lavender top 🙂

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She kept it simple and used her outfits to really capture her personality and style without going overboard, which I love!

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You would never know from the photos that she had ACL surgery this summer – she was totally game to bring her brace along and take it off whenever we stopped to shoot.

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You’d also never know that we had to reschedule three times due to the weather! Of course it was worth it – MacKenzie was amazing to work with, and we got just the right senior photo session to show her personality and style 🙂

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We are booking up fast, but we still have a few slots for senior sessions in the next month or so! Contact us at The Camera’s Eye today 🙂

Fall Family Portrait Sessions with The Camera’s Eye!

Hard to believe it’s partway through September! While we still have a few slots for senior sessions at The Camera’s Eye, we are already booking family portrait sessions in the great outdoors. Fall, Family, Portraits, The Camera's Eye

I LOVE working with clients to take advantage of all the natural autumn beauty upstate New York has to offer.

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You can’t beat the light and the leaves for a memorable portrait shoot 🙂

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September and October are the ideal months for your family photo shoot – this gives you some gorgeous options for your holiday cards, and lots of portraits as gifts for grandparents and other family and friends.

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Book a family session with The Camera’s Eye in September or October to get $25 off! Contact us today 🙂

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2019 Senior Athletes at The Camera’s Eye

What I love MOST about doing senior photos with The Camera’s Eye is bringing out your passion and your personality! One of the best ways to do this is to bring your sport with you to your session session. Check out some recent shots from seniors at Owego Free Academy, Maine Endwell and Tioga:Basketball, Senior, Athlete, The Camera's EyeSenior Athlete, Senior, Softball, Travel team, The Camera's EyeSoccer, Senior, Athlete, The Camera's EyeVolleyball, Senior, Athlete, The Camera's Eye

Best of luck to all my seniors just starting their school year! And if you haven’t had a chance to book, contact The Camera’s Eye today! We still have a few spots left that will let you make your yearbook photo deadline 🙂