Sunday, September 9, 2012

Falls News Roundup

In the fall, the calendar starts to fill up with new books appearing, a last round of warm weather wine tours, and more.

Here's a roundup of what's new and notable:

1. A New Rachel Carson Biography: On a Farther Shore by William Souder

Rachel Carson is a true environmental heroine, a close tie in my mind with Huey Johnson, John Muir, and David Brower. Her life history is an amazing and little known story.

How she came to be the Queen of the Anti-Pesticide Forces is an unlikely and fascinating story. It first came to my attention on the radio, in fact, as I listened (while crossing the Bay Bridge) to the incredible play by Kaiulani Lee's Sense of Wonder (you can hear it on the Living on Earth radio show web site).

William Souder's new biography of Rachel Carson, released this week, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of her death, sounds like a winner, given the praise lauded by the back of the book jacket:

“William Souder’s On a Farther Shore is one of those rare and extraordinary biographies that are at once brilliant portraiture and important environmental history. The great Rachel Carson comes alive again in these vivid pages—honest, committed, brave." (Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University and New York Times best-selling author of Wilderness Warrior)

“Rachel Carson changed the way we live now, and in William Souder she has a biographer who has given us a powerful portrait of a woman and of her work. Anyone interested in the intellectual, political, and cultural life of the past half century should read this fine book." (Jon Meacham, New York Times best-selling author)
“Rachel Carson is the great green heroine, the first person to combine her love of the natural world with a penetrating glance at industrial modernity. William Souder captures her importance in this engaging biography.” (Bill McKibben, environmentalist, best-selling author, and journalist)

Kirkus Reviews calls it, "a poignant, galvanizing, meaningful tribute."

I've just ordered a copy. Happily it's also available in audio, for people like me who sit in a lot of traffic and love to listen.

2. Organic Viticulturist (Grower) and Vintner Charlie Barra featured in SF Chronicle's California Wine special section

I don't know why it should take a lifetime for Charlie Barra to get some recognition in our local paper, but it's great to finally see some photos of him there and some mention of his wines, too.

3. Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini to Speak Tuesday Night in Santa Rosa

Foodie rockstar Carlo Petrini, who famously took on McDonald's and sparked a global agricultural movement, will speak Tuesday night at 7 pm in Santa Rosa at the Heirloom Expo, billed as the world's largest pure food fair. I am planning to make it to hear Petrini in person and will write more about it after the event. The expo is begins Tuesday and runs through Thursday.

If you can't make it, you might enjoy Petrini's 2011 Berkeley talk online here.

Sensitive Crystallization Workshop

I'll also be checking out the biodynamic booth, from Demeter USA (the biodynamic certification agency in the U.S.) and attending a session on Wednesday on Sensitive Crystallization at 2:15 pm. (Details here.)

Crystallization of
Conventional Wine 
Crystallization of
Biodynamic Wine
The session is with biodynamic consultant Philippe Coderey, from Provence, France. He is a partner in Grow Biodynamic Consulting. This is the technology that underlies the fascinating images you see here on the left and right, showing the energies contained in these substances. For more images, the web site gallery and click on the small images there to see the images larger.

You can also download Coderey's paper on Crystallization from the Fall 2009 Biodynamics magazine here.

He formerly worked with Bonny Doon, which is the one winery that uses the crystallization images on the wine bottle labels. Cool.

This appears to be the most wine-related event at the expo.

(You can learn more about the food goings on in the LA Times story here or visit the event website.)

Deborah Koons Garcia's Symphony of the Soil Film Screens with the Filmmaker

I also highly recommend checking out the soil film of films, Symphony of the Soil with filmmaker Deborah Garcia who will be there in person. It screens Wednesday at 12:15 with a 40 minute Q & A scheduled afterward with the filmmaker. (Disclosure: she is a friend of mine - but I can say the film is great!)

Here's a brief video of Deborah from YouTube with the Soil Association.

Let me know your feedback and thoughts if you partake!

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