THIS POST IS AN EDITED VERSION OF ONE THAT APPEARED PREVIOUSLY.
Steve Sando, known as "Rancho Gordo" to his legion fans, wrote in more detail about the flap centering around Carlo Petrini, "President for Life" as Sando referred to him, of Slow Food International. Petrini fictionalized, in an unflattering and rather dishonest fashion, some farmers up at the Ferry Plaza market in his new book, Slow Food Nation (no Amazon link: I ain't pimpin' for Petrini). Over at his weblog, Rancho Gordo, Sando published the excerpt referring to a farmer who surfs: Petrini implied that it is the farmer's usurious pricing that allows him to work two weekends a month and surf the rest of the time. (What he was trying to accomplish with this fiction is really beyond me.)
Petrini wrote: "The former [of two farmers], with long hair and a plaid flannel shirt, held his lovely little blond-haired daughter in his arms and told me, in a conspiratorial tone, that he had to drive two hundred miles to come and sell in that market: he charged incredibly high prices for his squash, it was “a cinch,” in just two monthly visits he could earn more than enough to maintain his family and spend hours surfing on the beach."
UPDATE: May 17. I talked to "Surfing Farmer," who had left a comment in response to this statement by Petrini. Surfarmer was, at the time, able to laugh but was still a little bugged by it, because he's sort of well-known as being the surfing farmer up at the market in San Francisco. As he told someone on the phone, "Even if it's not me, people think it's me." But in hindsight, he asked that I remove the comments, which I admit I made worse with my own attempts at thumbing my nose to the person who would write such things about my friends who farm.
So I removed it, because as he further revealed to me, Surfarmer is about to announce his candidacy for President of the United States, and wants all evidence of his goofball sense of humor eradicated. Oh, if only Google would comply.
About Petrini's fiction, as I think of it: I could not understand how he who in his own words never finished college, could call farmers "dropouts." I left a comment on the Rancho Gordo blog:
The remark I found most offensive was about the "young dropouts-turned-farmers." Most of the farmers I know have college educations: many have graduate degrees. I would be willing to bet that Bay Area farmers are among the most educated in the world, if only because the University of Santa Cruz's farm apprentice program has been turning out organic farmers for forty years. Many of the graduates, of whom Surfarmer is one, stay close by—because the support is here. We do love our farmers, don't we?
I'm sure the maelstrom will continue when Steve Sando publishes his account of his meeting with Carlo Petrini at CUESA. I'm sure he will keep an eye on the situation.
And that is all for today.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “I prefer fact to fiction.” — Richard Attenborough
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