By Johan Raskin, Paige Green
“Sooner or later, approximately all people who cares approximately wine and meals involves Sonoma”—so starts this full of life day trip to a astonishing area that has develop into identified the world over as a locavore's paradise. half memoir, half vibrant reportage, Field Days chronicles the renaissance in farming organically and consuming in the neighborhood that's unfolding in Northern California. Jonah Raskin tells of the yr he spent on Oak Hill Farm—working the fields, promoting produce at farmers' markets, and following it to eating places. He additionally is going backstage at complete meals. during this luminous account of his reviews, Raskin introduces a dynamic solid of characters—farmers, cooks, winemakers, farm staff, and environmentalists. They contain such luminaries as Warren Weber at famous person path Farm, the oldest qualified natural farm in Marin County; Bob Cannard, who has provided Chez Panisse with greens for many years; Sharon Grossi, the landlord of the most important natural farm in Sonoma; and Craig Stoll, the founder and government chef at Delfina in San Francisco. Raskin additionally bargains pix of popular old figures, together with Luther Burbank, Jack London, and M.F.K. Fisher. Field Days is a heartfelt social gathering of the farm-to-table circulation and its cultural reverberations.
Photographs via Paige Green
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Additional resources for Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating, and Drinking Wine in California
And then, rather ominously, he added, “They’re destroying the forest,” which I took to mean that he believes that his self-contained, forest-fed farm—which seemed almost as much a thing of the wild as the wild itself— might not survive. The only part of the wild that he tries to keep out are the feral pigs, for they would dig up the earth with their tusks if left to themselves. So, reluctantly, he had built a fence. Something wild always has to be kept out—or kept at bay—if human beings are to farm, I reﬂected, as I listened to the sound of the wind in the trees and felt the cold knife of winter in my bones.
Jorge Posada, the Mexican artist who saw skeletons everywhere, would certainly view them this way and depict skeletons holding hoes and planting crops. Indeed, farmwork has exposed migrants to deadly poisons. That’s the big picture. Now, what about the lives Mexican farmworkers lead today? Could we perhaps learn something about the subject by looking at one life? I think so. Let me, therefore, introduce you to Uriel, who was born in the 1960s in the village of Chamacuaro, in the state of Guanajuato, and who now lives in Santa Rosa, California, in a multiracial working-class 36 FIRST FORAYS neighborhood.
48 FIRST FORAYS Scott is intensely political in a New Age way. He has spiritual values that inform his farming practices. He has adopted seminal ideas from Wendell Berry, the Kentucky-born environmentalist, sage of rural life and living, and author of dozens of books, including The Unsettling of America (1981), Standing on Earth (1991), and Late Harvest (1996), as well as novels and stories. Berry argued famously for the importance of putting culture back in agriculture, and for that idea alone I admire him.
Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating, and Drinking Wine in California by Johan Raskin, Paige Green