Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Found Fruit Writers in Vogue Magazine

November 2010 Issue

You don't have to be "fashionable" to be in Vogue. Michele Senitzer and Kim DiGiacomo of got a mention in the November 2010 issue in an article by Hamish Bowles called; "Now, Forager" (Pages 102-106) written following his trip to Oakland to spend a few days with Urban Farmer and author of "Farm City", Novella Carpenter.

As part of their time together, Novella, her partner Billy and Hamish decided to try their hand at fishing for Halibut on the Berkeley Pier.  Michele and I were invited to join the "party".  It was cold, windy and quite frankly a miserable day...too cold for most people to even venture onto the pier, much less fish.  But this was a foraging adventure and gosh darnit, we were committed.  

I think it's fair to say Michele and I really had no idea of the types of articles Hamish writes or that there was a possibility for us to be included in his article.  So imagine our surprise when we got the call that we were mentioned in the November 2010 issue of Vogue?  The article over all was a very realistic description of our beloved gritty city of Oakland and how many of us have returned to urban homesteading, foraging and raising animals for food.  

Nov 2010 Vogue Magazine

I loved Hamish's description of that day on the Berkeley pier as he waxes eloquently about the beauty of San Francisco standing off in the distance and the cold efficient fishing we did.  In spite of the sometimes difficult fishing conditions on our Bay Area piers like Berkeley and my favorite, Pacifica Pier, you can always be wowed by the breathtaking views.  One time while fishing on the end of the Pacifica Pier, I could see whales migrating in the distance.

When Michele and I joined them that day on the pier we realized our friends were a little new to fishing and needed some help to understand the best methods to land Halibut.  For one thing, Halibut are mostly a bottom dwelling fish who prefer live bait.  We cautioned that lures probably weren't going to do the trick.  Overhand casting is also considered a "no no" on most California Piers so we taught them a pretty efficient underhand cast.  We had 4 rods so we set up 2 for Novella and Billy to bottom fish with frozen anchovies.  Then we set up 2 rods to try to catch live bait.  Hamish was on one of the bait rods. Suddenly Hamish felt a tug.  He excitedly reeled in a small fish and what we commonly call a "Bull Head"or Sculpin.  Perfect for live Bait for a Striped Bass.  Hamish asked me to snap a quick photo with his camera and then I took the Bullhead off Hamish's line and placed it onto Novella's line as bait, hoping a big fish would pass by.

Unfortunately nothing else was biting and Novella, Billy and Hamish didn't realize how cold the pier can get.  After putting in a solid effort, they moved on to other adventures hoping Michele and I would catch a huge striped bass for dinner the next night.  Michele and I fished on but no one was catching anything that day other than a cold.

The next day we attended the forage party and "send off" for Hamish at Novella's urban oasis on a vacant lot next to her home in West Oakland.  It was a fun gathering of down to earth fellow foragers.  

The Foraged Spread 

Another point of the gathering was to try a new outdoor earthen oven Novella had built with a friend.  Pizzas were roasting inside when we arrived.  My favorite tasting from the oven was freshly picked zucchini blossoms from the garden lot we were gathered in.  They were filled with feta and fresh basil, dressed in a little olive oil and salt.  Delicioso!

Outdoor oven
Novella and Hamish survey the oven

Homemade Pizza Paddle

Escargot Anyone?
Other interesting forageables included roasted snails (escargot) which cooked a bit too fast in the oven and came out chewy and a bit too salty...I had heard they are the same snails as are eaten in France so I was excited to try them.  These weren't my favorite but I think I will give them another chance soon.  Someone brought homemade cheese and acorn bread that was very good.  Novella's Sangria was nice.

Flower arrangement collected from lot
Vogue Photographer
But the other most amazing new thing we ate were the Persian Mulberries she had growing on the lot. I had mulberries before but never like these. They were sweet and juicy and would make a very very nice wine. We stayed long into the darkness talking and chatting and making new friends.

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