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Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating, and Drinking Wine in California

by

Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating, and Drinking Wine in California Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"This is an insider's view, and Raskin offers readers insights into a hidden California. The impact of his book is to return culture to agriculture in a state dominated by agribusiness."—Gerald Haslam, author of The Great Central Valley: California's Heartland

“Jonah Raskin has lived and taught in this area for well over thirty years and has the credibility to write about the evolution of farming here. His book is a magical mixture of journalism and memoir. I loved his interviews with local farmers and growers. He explores the questions that we all are asking about our relationship to food and what it means to eat locally, who grows it, and will they be able to continue to do so.”—Ianthe Brautigan, author of You Can't Catch Death: A Daughter's Memoir

"'Think global, buy local' takes on new meaning in this intriguing synthesis of memoir and reportage on the slow and local food movements."—Peter Laufer, author of Wetback Nation and The Dangerous World of Butterflies

“Anyone wanting to know what it's like to live in the paradise that is Sonoma County must read Field Days. Jonah Raskin brings this blessed region and its communities of environmental champions vividly to life.”—Jeff Cox, author of The Organic Cook's Bible and The Organic Food Shopper's Guide

“In Jonah Raskin's wonderfully observant ramble through Sonoma County's farms, orchards, and vineyards, it becomes abundantly clear that American farming has not been killed off by agribusiness, or the Department of Agriculture's call to 'get big or get out'. With Raskin we meet a rich community of amazing people who have stayed on the land, or gone back to it, sharing a new kind of ecologically informed consciousness about our intimate connections to the land and the people who work it. Anybody who reads this book, wherever they live, will gain a new appreciation of this new generation of farmers. Thanks to them, we're learning to eat well—a basic necessity in the hard times ahead.”—Ernest Callenbach, author of Ecotopia

"In Field Days, Jonah Raskin becomes the George Plimpton of organic farming. Instead of getting out on the playing field to measure his stuff against pro athletes, he toils long days beside farm workers. Soulful and always curious, Raskin traces the tradition of responsible farming practices in Northern California, and explores the meaning of living locally."—Bart Schneider, author of The Man in the Blizzard

Review:

"In this rambling memoir from 'America's heartland of organic produce,' literary scholar Raskin (For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman) recalls a pleasant year visiting farm friends in Sonoma, Calif. Following the chronology of one season, he goes to farms, markets and restaurants, profiling Mexican workers, talking with small-farm advocates and even harvests vegetables himself. The breezy, romantic prose is peppered with literary references, and, at times, awkward academic language. His descriptions of meals seem limited to 'sumptuous,' 'delicious' and 'excellent'; similarly, the analysis tends to be cursory. After listening to one industrious produce seller's story, Raskin evokes a simple 'Wow!' The closest his research comes to a serious investigation is a description of employees at the Sonoma Whole Foods Market, a company he openly dislikes. The story's overarching countercultural bent intensifies the aging academic's apparent longing for the revolutionary roots of organic foods. The redemptive aspect of this memoir lies in its intensely local specificity — Northern California's marijuana-growing culture and a feeling of youthfulness — although the sprawling narrative imparts more of a gauzy, poetic impression than any cohesive ideas about food or farming. 22 b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

“Sooner or later, nearly everyone who cares about wine and food comes to Sonoma”—so begins this lively excursion to a spectacular region that has become known internationally as a locavore's paradise. Part memoir, part vivid reportage, Field Days chronicles the renaissance in farming organically and eating locally that is unfolding in Northern California. Jonah Raskin tells of the year he spent on Oak Hill Farm—working the fields, selling produce at farmers' markets, and following it to restaurants. He also goes behind the scenes at Whole Foods. In this luminous account of his experiences, Raskin introduces a dynamic cast of characters—farmers, chefs, winemakers, farm workers, and environmentalists. They include such luminaries as Warren Weber at Star Route Farm, the oldest certified organic farm in Marin County; Bob Cannard, who has supplied Chez Panisse with vegetables for decades; Sharon Grossi, the owner of the largest organic farm in Sonoma; and Craig Stoll, the founder and executive chef at Delfina in San Francisco. Raskin also offers portraits of renowned historical figures, including Luther Burbank, Jack London, and M.F.K. Fisher. Field Days is a heartfelt celebration of the farm-to-table movement and its cultural reverberations.

About the Author

Jonah Raskin is Professor of Communication Studies at Sonoma State University and the author of The Radical Jack London: Writings on War and Revolution, American Scream: Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" and the Making of the Beat Generation, and For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman, all available from University of California Press.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Introduction: The Renaissance in Farming 1

1 First Forays 13

2 Oak Hill History 58

3 Departures and Returns 79

4 Farmwork, Farmworkers 100

5 Winnowing with Wayne 125

6 Blood and Money, Wine and Water 136

7 Rudolf Steiner and Sons 162

8 Follow the Vegetables 177

9 Oldies and Goodies 202

10 A Place for Things to Happen 228

11 Days of the Dead 248

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520259027
Subtitle:
A Year of Farming, Eating, and Drinking Wine in California
Author:
Raskin, Jonah
Author:
Green, Paige
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Farm life
Subject:
Farmers
Subject:
Agriculture - General
Subject:
United States - State & Local - West
Subject:
Beverages - Wine & Spirits
Subject:
Farm life - California - Sonoma
Subject:
Organic farming - California - Sonoma
Subject:
Farmers & Ranchers
Subject:
Regional Subjects - West
Subject:
Agriculture - Organic
Subject:
American - Western States
Subject:
Biography-Farmers and Ranchers
Subject:
Wine & Spirits
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090525
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
22 b/w photographs
Pages:
344
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.88 x 1 in 17 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Sustainable Cooking
Reference » Science Reference » Technology
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Organic
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Profiles and Biographies

Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating, and Drinking Wine in California Sale Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.98 In Stock
Product details 344 pages University of California Press - English 9780520259027 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this rambling memoir from 'America's heartland of organic produce,' literary scholar Raskin (For the Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman) recalls a pleasant year visiting farm friends in Sonoma, Calif. Following the chronology of one season, he goes to farms, markets and restaurants, profiling Mexican workers, talking with small-farm advocates and even harvests vegetables himself. The breezy, romantic prose is peppered with literary references, and, at times, awkward academic language. His descriptions of meals seem limited to 'sumptuous,' 'delicious' and 'excellent'; similarly, the analysis tends to be cursory. After listening to one industrious produce seller's story, Raskin evokes a simple 'Wow!' The closest his research comes to a serious investigation is a description of employees at the Sonoma Whole Foods Market, a company he openly dislikes. The story's overarching countercultural bent intensifies the aging academic's apparent longing for the revolutionary roots of organic foods. The redemptive aspect of this memoir lies in its intensely local specificity — Northern California's marijuana-growing culture and a feeling of youthfulness — although the sprawling narrative imparts more of a gauzy, poetic impression than any cohesive ideas about food or farming. 22 b&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
“Sooner or later, nearly everyone who cares about wine and food comes to Sonoma”—so begins this lively excursion to a spectacular region that has become known internationally as a locavore's paradise. Part memoir, part vivid reportage, Field Days chronicles the renaissance in farming organically and eating locally that is unfolding in Northern California. Jonah Raskin tells of the year he spent on Oak Hill Farm—working the fields, selling produce at farmers' markets, and following it to restaurants. He also goes behind the scenes at Whole Foods. In this luminous account of his experiences, Raskin introduces a dynamic cast of characters—farmers, chefs, winemakers, farm workers, and environmentalists. They include such luminaries as Warren Weber at Star Route Farm, the oldest certified organic farm in Marin County; Bob Cannard, who has supplied Chez Panisse with vegetables for decades; Sharon Grossi, the owner of the largest organic farm in Sonoma; and Craig Stoll, the founder and executive chef at Delfina in San Francisco. Raskin also offers portraits of renowned historical figures, including Luther Burbank, Jack London, and M.F.K. Fisher. Field Days is a heartfelt celebration of the farm-to-table movement and its cultural reverberations.
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