Viewing entries posted in January 2014

ABA Q&A with Bryce Andrews

January 10, 2014

A great interview with Bryce Andrews is up on the American Booksellers Association's website now, as part of their Indies Introduce Debut Authors Q&A. Full interview is here, but here's an excerpt:

 

In Badluck Way, you recount your unique experience of living and working on the fragile interface between tame and wild — a wilderness area and a ranch. Do you think there can ever be peace between ranchers and natural predators?

 

Bryce Andrews: I have more hope for balance, and for coexistence, than I do for a bloodless peace. The lives of ranchers, livestock, and predators unfold on a huge, wild landscape. The Sun Ranch, for example, is around 21,000 acres of benches, hills, creek bottoms, and forests. The Sun, then, is 25 times the size of Central Park. Unlike the park, great swaths of the ranch consist of impenetrable thickets, steep mountainsides, or sinkhole bogs that spell disaster for cattle and horses.

 

In my part of Montana, a rancher must graze his or her herds across a vast, crenulated landscape — a landscape that has grown increasingly full of predators. She or he must do this with the bare minimum of hired help, due to the razor-thin margins of modern agriculture. The end result is that great bunches of dumb, slow, delicious livestock are turned loose each spring in hills that belong to quick-witted, hungry predators. Given what I know about wolves and cattle, it is hard for me to imagine that our summers will ever be wholly without violence. The wolves will take cattle from time to time. Ranchers will lose sleep, and then their tempers.

 

If we hope for something, let it be less blood on both sides of the equation. With each passing year, and each new gruesome wreck, we learn more about how to share the land with predators. Over time, this process can lead us to a form of coexistence that is sustainable, if not entirely peaceful.

 

In Badluck Way, you recount your unique experience of living and working on the fragile interface between tame and wild — a wilderness area and a ranch. Do you think there can ever be peace between ranchers and natural predators?

Bryce Andrews: I have more hope for balance, and for coexistence, than I do for a bloodless peace. The lives of ranchers, livestock, and predators unfold on a huge, wild landscape. The Sun Ranch, for example, is around 21,000 acres of benches, hills, creek bottoms, and forests. The Sun, then, is 25 times the size of Central Park. Unlike the park, great swaths of the ranch consist of impenetrable thickets, steep mountainsides, or sinkhole bogs that spell disaster for cattle and horses.

In my part of Montana, a rancher must graze his or her herds across a vast, crenulated landscape — a landscape that has grown increasingly full of predators. She or he must do this with the bare minimum of hired help, due to the razor-thin margins of modern agriculture. The end result is that great bunches of dumb, slow, delicious livestock are turned loose each spring in hills that belong to quick-witted, hungry predators. Given what I know about wolves and cattle, it is hard for me to imagine that our summers will ever be wholly without violence. The wolves will take cattle from time to time. Ranchers will lose sleep, and then their tempers.

If we hope for something, let it be less blood on both sides of the equation. With each passing year, and each new gruesome wreck, we learn more about how to share the land with predators. Over time, this process can lead us to a form of coexistence that is sustainable, if not entirely peaceful.

- See more at: http://www.bookweb.org/news/indies-introduce-debut-author-qa-bryce-andrews#sthash.8Vq2fVAx.dpuf

In Badluck Way, you recount your unique experience of living and working on the fragile interface between tame and wild — a wilderness area and a ranch. Do you think there can ever be peace between ranchers and natural predators?

Bryce Andrews: I have more hope for balance, and for coexistence, than I do for a bloodless peace. The lives of ranchers, livestock, and predators unfold on a huge, wild landscape. The Sun Ranch, for example, is around 21,000 acres of benches, hills, creek bottoms, and forests. The Sun, then, is 25 times the size of Central Park. Unlike the park, great swaths of the ranch consist of impenetrable thickets, steep mountainsides, or sinkhole bogs that spell disaster for cattle and horses.

In my part of Montana, a rancher must graze his or her herds across a vast, crenulated landscape — a landscape that has grown increasingly full of predators. She or he must do this with the bare minimum of hired help, due to the razor-thin margins of modern agriculture. The end result is that great bunches of dumb, slow, delicious livestock are turned loose each spring in hills that belong to quick-witted, hungry predators. Given what I know about wolves and cattle, it is hard for me to imagine that our summers will ever be wholly without violence. The wolves will take cattle from time to time. Ranchers will lose sleep, and then their tempers.

If we hope for something, let it be less blood on both sides of the equation. With each passing year, and each new gruesome wreck, we learn more about how to share the land with predators. Over time, this process can lead us to a form of coexistence that is sustainable, if not entirely peaceful.

- See more at: http://www.bookweb.org/news/indies-introduce-debut-author-qa-bryce-andrews#sthash.8Vq2fVAx.dpuf

Posted by waleslit on January 10, 2014  |  Permalink

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NYT: Kurt Timmermeister is a "Table-to-Farm Pioneer"

January 3, 2014

Kurt Timmermeister's Vashon Island farm and home was showcased in The New York Times Great Homes & Destinations section last week. Here's a clip:

As the cheese business was growing, he began hosting Sunday dinners, extravagant four-hour, eight-course meals that he and various Seattle chefs cooked using ingredients produced on his land, which he named Kurtwood Farms (Mr. Timmermeister named the farm the year he tried the farmers’ market; he hoped the plural “farms” would give a gloss to his produce.)

These dinners, made and served in the concrete cookhouse he built on the footprint of his old chicken coop, quickly acquired a cult following. Foodies fell all over themselves to snag a seat. Even at $100 a head, they were so oversubscribed that Mr. Timmermeister started asking would-be diners to answer essay questions, in an attempt to winnow down their numbers.

“I got a lot of hate mail,” he said. “But some rose to the challenge. Of course, I didn’t realize how much work it would be to read 200 essays about corn on the cob and then prioritize them. Even then, I had to tell people, ‘You spent an hour writing and I still don’t have a seat for you.’ ”

 

The full article, and a slideshow of Kurt's log cabin, is here.

 

 

Posted by waleslit on January 3, 2014  |  Permalink

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