sight and insight in the californian desert

posted November 23, 2017

tmag-zittel-slide-8BJA-superJumbo.jpg
The scorched road leading up to A-Z West, on the border of Joshua Tree National Park. 
Credit: Stefan Ruiz and the NY Times 

Joshua Tree National Park.

“Zittel sees herself as part of the 20th-century tradition of American artists leaving cities for the open spaces of the Southwest, but she is aware of her deviations. O’Keeffe and Martin chose the desert as a form of retreat, but Zittel saw it as liberation. As for the parallels often drawn between her and the largely male artists who came to make their massive, macho marks on the desert, she gently notes that she is not interested in “grand interventions,” only in finding meaning in intimate, everyday gestures.”

(more…)


just a quick reminder that work songs are awesome!

posted November 20, 2017

We found this worksong among a wonderful collection of other songs on worksongs.org, which is run by Maine farmer-musician Bennett Konesni. It’s kind of a digital soundbook and Bennett has created a collection of songs used to aid labor and has included lyrics on many of the songs. His long term goal is to have recordings, lyrics, history, usage tips and comments on each song. He created the site to address three needs:

First, the need to share songs that people can use in their fields, markets, kitchens and at the table. Second, and more generally, my wish to understand and enliven the culture of food. Third, and in a universal sense, my desire to explore ways to make all work more fun.

It’s a really cool project and he and his trained harbor seal Andre accept donations if you would like to support him.

Click HERE to check out the full site.




the peasantry fight for control

posted October 23, 2017

19170704_Riot_on_Nevsky_prosp_Petrograd.jpg
Street demonstration in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) after Provisional Government troops open fire, July 4, 1917. Viktor Bulla / Wikimedia

In a recent article about the 1917 February and subsequent October Revolutions, Jacobin magazine discuss how, as in so many other revolutions, boiling point was reached in the fields and among the peasant class. The peasants were discounted by many at the time, on the right and left alike as ignorant and unimportant, or in the word of Marx as “the class that represents barbarism within civilization.”

Throughout 1917, however, these supposedly backward people surprised their supporters in the intelligentsia with their clever revolutionary activity. While each region and village had its own nuances, the main structures of this largely self-generated politics shared many characteristics.

First, the peasants banded together to form village committees. They also called these organizations peasant committees, although trusted non-peasants were sometimes allowed to take part: teachers, priests, and even landowners found themselves participating in committee activities. The rural workers quickly excluded anyone from those groups who tried to dominate the organization.

Click HERE to read the full article.


cider day celebrations in somerville – october 19th

posted October 14, 2017

Instagram - Cider Day.png

South Street Farm is glorious in the height of fall, and to make it even better, this coming Thursday, October 19th, they are throwing a Cider Day Party! Whether you’ve been to the farm many times or have no idea where it is, you are more than welcome and they would love to celebrate the end of their growing season with you!

Cider Day Party will be a festival of all things fall:
– Apple cider pressing
– Free food (first come first served!)
– Face painting
– Live music
– Games, crafts, prizes, and more

They will also be celebrating their volunteers and unveiling their brand new greenhouse with a ceremonial ribbon cutting so it is sure to be a day full of festivities.
South Street Farm is located at 138 South Street, Somerville MA 02143.
Check out the South Street Farm Facebook page for more details.



learn about the history and anthropology of mead with this awesome mead-zine

posted October 5, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 18.34.44

Check out this awesome zine about making mead sent to us by our friend Jonathan Tanis. It starts with an introduction contextualising fermentation as a political act which is both democratizing and embraces the commons, bubbling away with “unrealized possibility” for forming human connections and alliances. It then moves on to explain the historical and anthropological contexts of mead making. Humans have been consuming honey for nearly 9,000 years and mead has featured heavily throughout our civilizations. Naturally there are also instructions and a recipe for brewing your own mead at home!

This is a fascinating and inspiring read full of history, art, poetry and politics, and as the authors say, in this time of global strife and agitation, make mead, not war.

If you or somebody you know is an artist, poet, academic or farmer, and would like to  get involved with future Culture & Agriculture or Agropunk zines, please contact Jonathan at justjontanis@gmail.com.