Organic Farmers and Chefs of the Hudson Valley
Francesco Mastalia, Photographer. With Introduction by Gail
Buckland, Foreword by Mark Ruffalo, Preface by Joan Dye Gussow, and text by the
103 subjects of the photographer.
How does one classify a book of photographs of Hudson Valley
organic farmers and chefs that includes accompanying text describing what the
word organic and the practice of organic farming means to them? Especially if
the photographs are taken with the wet plate collodion process developed in
1850 using a handmade wooden box of a camera and an original lens. Is this a
farm-to-table epistle, a regional title or a history of photography book? That
is the dilemma of your bookseller.
For our concerns, let’s just say it is the sum
of all three. It
is the locavore ethos of our ancestors to be owned again by their descendants.
It is the farm-to-table movement writ large on ambrotypes, the chemicals with
their light-sensitive properties mixed and spread by hand on black glass plates
to produce one-of-a-kind images of one-of-a-kind people to grace these pages.
In the end you shouldn’t care which category the book
Organic Farmers and Chefs of the Hudson Valley is placed in. It is enough that
the very intimate portraits of the farmers and chefs of this beautiful and intensely
personal book reach out from the page as you gaze into their souls, looking for
a place at the table.