The pot of chives was waiting for me in Moraga. Little did I know there was an entire afternoon of wonder in store for me when I went to pick it up.
With just his hands, a shovel and a wheelbarrow, 79-year old Ze’ev Vered has shaped seven terraces of gardens and orchards. Trees bearing pistachio, quince and pomegranate push up against the golden hills. A 6-foot cyclone fence that encircles his garden, to deter the insistent deer, has long been covered with the rambling vines of eight different varieties of grapes. The paths between each hand-weeded bed switch back several times, a steep trail that leads from one beautiful, delicious plant to another.
Continue reading “Ze’ev Vered’s Garden”
The invitation from Tim â€œBlind Muscatâ€ Patterson was a two-part, April Fool’s proposition. First, we’d get to help him bottle a batch of rosé, a mongrel mix of this year’s Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel. Then, there’d be the festive unbottling of the selfsame wine. What better way to celebrate Subterranean Cellars’ acquisition of water and electricity? The expansion of the patio and the recent arrival of a BBQ rig were additional excuses for an all-day drink-and-eat-fest.
Though far from a wine expert, I knew I’d be there when I read the menu’s magic words: pulled pork.
Continue reading “Rhone at Home: Garage Wines”
In 1956, farmers received their first batch of coccidiostat, a drug that fights parasites appearing in large concentrations of chickens and turkeys. Over time, some of those farmers were able to move their backyard flocks into 3-story structures with 30,000 birds a floor, thus finally competing in price with the more efficient beef industry.
One of the most important forces in this change was Max Tishler, a chemist at Merck who led the development of medicines essential to modern husbandry. His invention â€œmade possible a great expansion of the poultry industry and created overnight a new field for research–an event of great magnitude for agriculture.â€ Tishler’s research in vitamins and hormones led to drugs and vaccines for humans as well as animals, including a family of compounds that led to effective treatment of river blindness, a disease common in undeveloped, tropical countries. To learn more about the state of the poultry industry today, read updates at:
– National Sustainable Agriculture
– The Poultry Site
– The California Poultry Federation
– International Poultry Expo