What is in this article?:
- California Ag Field Guide covers diversity of crops
- Historic overview, gallery
- Two University of Nevada, Reno Foundation Professors have teamed up to produce a fact-filled, entertaining, practical guide to California’s production of almost 400 different crops, which has created “the most dramatic modern agricultural landscape in the world,” as the authors argue in the book’s preface.
- Paul Starrs, geography professor, and Peter Goin, art professor, have coauthored “Field Guide to California Agriculture” published by the University of California Press.
Historic overview, gallery
The bulk of the book’s pages are taken up with a survey of crops, but the book also contains a historical overview, a section on the state’s agricultural regions, and a dramatic gallery of larger-format photographs, The Paradox and Poetics of Agriculture.
This is not the first time the artist and the geographer have worked together on an interdisciplinary project. They worked together to produce Black Rock in 2005, a beautiful book that offers a lyrical and poetic vision of a rugged region of desert and mountains in northern Nevada.
Both Starrs and Goin are well-traveled, spending much time abroad as children, but with deep roots in and appreciation for California’s agriculture. Goin’s family includes long-standing Californians, and his father worked as a seasonal farmworker in the lemon groves during his time at UC Berkeley. Starrs is a resident of both Nevada and California and has spent much time traveling and discovering the back roads of California. He can still ride, rope and brand, having worked as a ranch hand watching over several hundred cattle and calves grazing high-altitude rangelands.
The two are explorers at heart, meeting in Reno during the 1997 flood, “hiking along the Truckee, knee-deep in water,” Goin said. “He was scouting, and I was capturing a moment in Reno land and life making photographs.”
The rest is history, and an example of one great interdisciplinary partnership.