Francesco Mastalia: Organic
Looking at recently released photography books this week…
Francesco Mastalia has a new monograph, Organic: Farmers & Chefs of the Hudson Valley published by powerHouse Books, featuring over 100 portraits of the farmers and chefs of the Hudson Valley photographed using the wet-plate collodion process. It’s a perfect marriage of process and subject, both using hands-on techniques to produce remarkable results. The amber toned images reflect that the cultivation of land was a manual process that linked the farmer directly to the soil.
“Organic is one of the most misunderstood and often misused words describing food today. In narrating their own stories, the farmers and chefs share their philosophy about what it means to grow and live organically and sustainably. “Organic” is not just about growing and producing food, it is about the life of the planet. It is about preserving an agricultural tradition that will safeguard farmland for future generations.”
Francesco Mastalia has traveled the world, photographing tribal, religious, spiritual, and indigenous peoples. His book Dreads, published by Workman Artisan, is a photo documentary on the history of dreadlocks. The book is now in its seventh printing, sold worldwide, and includes an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker.
Joan Dye Gussow, PhD, is known as the matriarch of the organic, locavore, small-farm movement. She is a mentor to today’s leading food activists. She has wielded considerable influence in academia (as a nutrition and education professor at Columbia University), in government (as a member of the National Organics Standards Board), and in the advocacy world (serving on the Center for Food Safety’s Advisory Board). She has written extensively, including, most recently, Growing Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life, and Growing Vegetables (Chelsea Green, 2010). She makes her home in the Hudson Valley.
The Hudson Valley, New York has become an epicenter for the local, organic, sustainable food movement. With its rich agricultural land, the awareness for sustainable living, and the growing demand for local, organic food, the farm-to-table, locavore movement has become a way of life in the Hudson Valley. Organic spotlights the Hudson Valley as a region at the forefront of this movement and features the portraits and words of the dedicated farmers who are committed to growing and producing food using sustainable methods, and the chefs who echo their beliefs and pay homage to the food they produce.
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