Sunday, January 30, 2011

farm books and bills

i'm loving farm together now: a portrait of people, places, and ideas for a new food movement, a book that just came out by amy franceschini and daniel tucker.

it's beautifully designed, with gorgeous photographs by anne hammersky and illustrations by corinne matesich. and the text! it consists of interviews with the hero farmers who are reinventing local food systems (plus sidebar definitions of things the farmers mention that the reader might not know about—organizations, legal acts, etc.) i've only just started reading it, but i'm already moved by these folks' wise words.

about the farm bill, the first farmer interviewed, Jim Knopik, says,

The Farm Bill—and I'll put this very bluntly, as clear as I can—is like a bull with a ring in its nose. The Farm Bill leads the farmers in whichever direction big industry wants them to go. If the Farm Bill is set up by big industry, or the big packers, or whoever has the most influence, then that's the direction the farmers will go. And that's the direction the farmers are in now in conventional farming. They are where industry and the big guys want them to be....But I do think it would be best if the change happened through the Farm Bill—a better farm bill. I think it almost has to, because it's so far out of hand. If it isn't going to happen there, I think it's going to be by a revolution.

this year i'd like to somehow get involved in the movement to get a fair farm bill.

here's the farm together now site with a great list of inspiring links.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


surprise packages, with surprise eggs inside=double delight!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

take a walk with me

on this glorious SF day. (they don't get much more beautiful weather-wise.)

buy a tasty morsel at knead (second choice of treat since they're no longer making persimmon chocolate chip scones—their persimmon tree is done for the season) and use all willpower to wait until we are atop bernal hill to eat said morsel.

take a blurry photo of custardy goodness whilst a dirty white poodle tries, with poodley charm, to snatch treat.

marvel at the day! the view. the dogs of all stripes with their dog walkers.

walk over to past cortland avenue and meander by the houses...

with big numbers on their sides.

walk around holly park (which is in the shape of a circle, roughly), back to cortland avenue to
see if our friend jeff is working at the video store. he is not, but the succulent part of the store has expanded into the video part and is super pretty.

talk with succulent guy in the sun. feel a bit guilty about not buying any plants from him. next time.

over to church street, through noe valley, and back over to the mission district and the corner natural foods store to buy some straus ice cream for later. soon it will be later.

here is amelie walking with the blind man.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

speaking of cows

went on another hike in wildcat, but the cows didn't howl today. moo, yes. howl, no.

you would not believe how loud the frogs were in this pond/puddle. it seemed like there must have been a whole fleet of very loud frogs in there. the water was rippling with them. but as soon as jen and i got out our gadgets to document their talking, they went quiet. all at once. except for one frog, who apparently didn't get the message that it was time to be quiet. so the slow one ribbeted once more, but then silence and stillness on the water. and they didn't start up again. i was glad to hear them though as it seems i hear frogs less and less these days. there used to be frogs in the valley behind the house i grew up in. i would hear them in the evenings and at night, but no longer.

bigger, more

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

more old homework

bigger poster, bigger scene

while i'm at it, i'll upload some other old homework assignments to flickr.
the above was for photoshop class.

my excellent photoshop teacher loved (and presumably still loves) shocking/twisted/gross images; he often has as an assignment portray your fear (real or fake) and include yourself in the scene. the results generally are blood and guts-filled. because i knew i'd be staring at it for a while, and i preferred not to be spending hours zooming in on snake scales or the like, i chose a fake fear: fear of woodland creatures. (who doesn't love woodland creatures—aside from those woodland snakes?)

for the above assignment, we were to create a persuasive political/topical poster and then include the poster in a scene. my poster was about
(surprise!) sustainable agriculture and industrial agriculture: sacred cow vs. mad cow. in the scene, the independent farmer (my classmate) is vanishing in a wasteland, america's heartland soil dead from the destructive farming methods employed by industrial ag.

the poster is another piece of mine that i didn't like at the time. i thought the poster was too literal. it is pretty literal, with a lot of text, but now i can see that it is also emotional/powerful—i feel sick about that poor jailed cow (even though it's not showing the actual brutality
of a CAFO) {which again, i didn't want to stare at for hours while completing the assignment, and which would have been even more literal}).

Monday, January 10, 2011

new to read, to listen, to see anew

love it when i am excited about my reading list:

housekeeping by marilynne robinson
the devil's teeth
by susan casey

a visit from the goon squad by jennifer egan
i know you're out there
by michael beaumier

freedom by jonathan franzen
by nightfall by michael cunningham

and got some new (to me) music from the library—the latest the national album.

i say it again: the public library is where it's at.

since i have no new photos to post, i'm posting the above stamp i made over a year ago for an illustrator class assignment (stamps about a social/political issue). at the time, i didn't like my stamp compared to my classmates' stamps, which were much more technically advanced. but i found it printed out at stamp size recently, and now i think it's pretty cute. i wouldn't mind getting it on an envelope.

my seed saving US stamp rant:

This stamp commemorates and encourages seed saving and trading. Seeds connect us to our heritage and to an unbroken chain of people who have saved seeds over hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of years. Immigrants from all over the world have brought their countries’ seeds with them to the United States, preserving and integrating a vital part of their cultures into the greater American culture.

Seeds that have been selected and saved over generations possess an invaluable genetic heritage and are often specifically adapted to the region in which they have been sown. Multinational agrochemical corporations are attempting to control seed supply worldwide, buying out smaller seed companies, dropping the regionally-adapted seeds and instead selling and distributing a select number genetically modified hybrid seeds and patented seeds, rendering the saving of their seeds useless and/or illegal and significantly diminishing the genetic diversity of seeds. By protecting seed diversity through the free saving and exchange of seeds, we honor those before us and protect ourselves, our culture(s), our future and life on earth.