Thursday, August 30

Manitoba Prairies

For the past two months I have been conducting visitor and learning experience research at the Farm Food Discovery Centre (FFDC).  The only centre of its kind in North America spreading the knowledge of the world of agriculture, one visitor at a time.  It is part of the larger Glenlea Research Station, and the station has been situated south of Manitoba since the 1960's, but the interpretive centre itself is celebrating its one year anniversary this year in September 2012.  We have adults who grew on farms and in rural communities bringing their children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, who often live in urban spaces, to teach them about rural life and where their food comes from.  Your food does not just show up in a gigantic store wrapped in plastic and cellophane.  Shocking!   The FFDC is one place you can learn about agriculture, farming, food processing and the like, processes far more complicated than freezer-ed cellophane wrapped meat.

The research is similar to the festival work I have been completing all summer, asking people to create mind maps.  Most of the children know exactly what I am talking about because schools, through the work of teachers, have been asking students to use mind mapping to connect ideas and broaden their thinking for about 8-10 years now.  Previous to this, mind maps were not used in schools, so many adults are unsure about this research technique and look at me funny, except for the teachers, they know mind maps.  I am getting all sorts of interesting responses and it is fascinating to see people really think about what they have learned while walking around, reading, talking with others, touching objects, looking at animals, asking questions and engaging in a casual learning environment.  We forget that we are learning all the time, this work reminds people of this.

On the way to complete research today, the Manitoba prairie put on a show.  A stunning view of the sun, barely peaking through clouds, but spilling its rays over the clouds onto the barrels of crops below.  Of course I pulled over to a side road, stopped my vehicle and began taking pictures.  I was trying to figure out how to get all of the sky in one shot when I remembered an App on my iPhone that let's me take 6-8 pictures in succession, stitches them together, then presents the viewer with a panorama of beauty in one photo.  It's called Photosynth and very fun to play with.  

After you take the first picture, you don't have to take anymore as you simply drag your phone/camera to the next section and when the box on the screen turns green, you pause the phone/camera and it clicks a picture automatically.  Move the phone/camera again and continue with this process until you have a series of panoramic shots.  As I said before, the program stitches them together and you have a wonderful shot ready to post, email, save and enjoy.  I then imported into my iPhoto area, cropped it and posted it to my blog.  Oh the joys of technology!

I have not had the time to look at all of the pictures I took this morning but here is one that turned out quite stunning, I must say.  Manitoba prairies showing off.  The beauty on the intricate flat ground.

Check out the Farm Food Discovery Centre next time you are in Winnipeg.
Check out Photosynth.
Keep taking and playing with pictures.

1 comment:

  1. Such an amazing sky and a beautiful field, Tonia. You may be in re-creation, but your first love should be photography.