June 20, 2010
a gaggle of Fargos
Friday, I took the day off work and rode the Fargo Adventure Ride. Sixty miles of pavement, gravel, dirt, and grass trails. There were 10 of us. Six on Fargos. I rode my Kona Jake the Snake. We rolled out of Lebanon Hills around 8:15 am. A couple of miles of bike paths took us to gravel roads and we headed east and south. Jason led us through Rosemount and down to Farmington. We rode through Umore park. We stopped near a sheep farm while someone fixed a flat.
MG's new friend
The first part of the ride was pleasant. Mark declared the roads hero gravel. Smooth as silk. In Farmington, we stopped at a Kwik Trip for supplies. At this point I was feeling good. Then Jason led us to Vermillion Heights. Grass trails used for horse back riding, skiing, and hiking. Jason had warned us fat tires were a good idea. I had just mounted some 42 mm Continentals on my bike. This is where the Fargos shined. The Salsa Fargo is capable of just about anything. It’s a fat tire, drop bar, 29er. It has six water bottle mounts. It’s kind of a monster truck for off-road touring. Load it up and go. The Fargo riders attacked the trail. Mud, dirt, and sand. I survived with my skinny tires and took my punishment. After a while, we found this rock.
nice view from the top
Wild raspberries provided a nice snack.
At one point, Jason took a sharp right turn. Like a fool, I followed. He was plowing through prairie grass 4 ft. high. I’m sure there was a trail there at some point. Early spring maybe. I was using my sense of smell because I could not see the trail. Then I caught a rut. Rider down. At least the prairie grass provided a soft landing.
stacks at Umore Park
Alien space craft
our leader and some Umore gravel
Fargos headed for home
We rolled back through Umore park and then more pavement on our return to Lebanon Hills. I met some great guys Friday. MG can ride a wheelie like I’ve never seen and he brought dumb dumbs.
After the ride Julie met me at Lebanon and we grabbed something to eat at Doolittles. On Saturday, Julie and I rode to Farmington and back before work and tomorrow we plan to ride some gravel.
The Fargo Adventure Ride was everything I thought it would be. A huge thank you to Jason for organizing this ride. I can’t wait to do it again next year.
June 7, 2010
“The food revolution taking place in this country cannot be truly successful without an agricultural revolution. We must inspire our farmers and create millions more of them. The extraordinary farmers Lisa Hamilton profiles in Deeply Rooted embody the future of American agriculture.”
— Alice Waters
”David Podoll set out to prove organic agriculture wrong, but instead was converted; he and his brother now buck the North Dakotan trend of farm consolidation and corn, soybean and wheat monoculture by focusing on the family garden and breeding plants for diversity, beauty and strength. The book vividly shows how these stubborn individualists rooted in the soil struggle are forging a path away from monolithic agribusiness to sustainable agriculture for its promise of spiritual integrity, community and food security.”
– Publishers Weekly
A century of industrialization has left our food system riddled with problems, yet for solutions we look to nutritionists and government agencies, scientists and chefs. Lisa M. Hamilton asks: why not look to the people who grow our food?
In this narrative nonfiction book she tells three stories, of an African-American dairyman in Texas who plays David to the Goliath of agribusiness corporations; a tenth-generation rancher in New Mexico struggling to restore agriculture as a pillar of his community; and a modern pioneer family in North Dakota breeding new varieties of plants to face the future’s double threat: climate change and the patenting of life forms. In unique ways, these “unconventional farmers” reject the passive role that modern agriculture has insisted they accept and instead reclaim their place as stewards of the land and leaders within society.
Threads of history and discussion weave through the tales, exploring how farmers have been pushed to the margins of agriculture and how that has led to the broken food system we grapple with today. These unusual characters and their extraordinary stories make the case that in order to repair the damage, we must bring farmers back to the table.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Journalist and photographer Lisa M. Hamilton spent two years profiling three families in rural America who represent a change in the way we should think about food and agriculture, including the Podolls, a modern pioneer family in LaMoure, North Dakota, breeders of new varieties of plants to face the future’s double threat: global warming and biotech food.
Hamilton’s work has been published in National Geographic Traveler,Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, Orion, and Gastronomica. She lives in Northern California.