The End is Nigh

In order to locate a two-month period in which blog posts were as bereft here as they were in Sept and Oct this year, you have to go back to 2006. During these past two months, I’ve been on a national book tour while trying to complete a book manuscript. And so blogging has suffered mightily. Fortunately for all concerned, things are finally coming to a conclusion. My mid-November, it should be back to the normal level of randomness you have all come to expect.

However, tomorrow I depart for Miami to begin the final leg of the book tour. I’m arriving early so I can enjoy a bit of sunshine and Cuban food. Thereafter follow these stops, for anyone who happens to be nearby:

What else? Well, I did manage to do a bit of serious blogging while I was on the road, and you can read about that over at All About Beer in a post I promised last week after passing through Milwaukee:

The Pabst complex is so compelling because it’s so tangible. Capitalism is a violent and sometimes jarring force, and as quickly as it graces a business with the generative power to rise from the pavement, it can strike it right back down. For 15 decades, that brewery continued to grow in lunges, expanding capacity to remain lean and efficient, to gobble up more and more of the growing market. The excitement and energy we are witnessing in brewing now is no different than the one that visited the U.S. 150 years ago when German immigrants brought their brewing expertise and inspired drinkers with lager beer. But in 1996, the same calculus that fueled that empire also led to the decision to quit the place: beer could be made more cheaply elsewhere. In a pen stroke the buildings went dark.

Read the rest here.  Finally, Patrick and I have a new Beervana Podcast on the subject of cider. It coincided with the Cider Made Simple book launch last night (with very serious thanks to Nat West, Kevin Zielinski, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, and Silas Bleakley and Kristina Nance). In this week’s episode, we do a survey course on cider. (At one point in the podcast, there’s an inadvertent Happy Halloween from the producer. You have to listen to hear it.)

You can also listen to it on iTunes.

from Beervana


Wonderful Cider Event on Thursday

If you have even a passing interest in this cider phenomenon that has been on a slow boil for the past few years, I strongly encourage you to come down to Reverend Nat’s this Thursday for what is going to be a spectacular evening. The headline event is the book launch for Cider Made Simple, but in fact, it’s going to be a full-immersion cider experience, tickling your brain as well as your senses.

I’ll begin by talking about the book and giving an overview of cider’s terrain, including European archetypes as well as modern American expressions. I will be aided in this endeavor by four of the best cider-makers in America who will be in-house with their ciders as examples of this terrain:

  • Kevin Zielinski of EZ Orchards, who will have a traditional French-style cidre for us to try.
  • Abram Goldman-Armstrong of Cider Riot!, who will have an English-style cider.
  • Silas Bleakley of Rack and Cloth, who will be bringing an example of what I call a “modernist” American-style cider in Cider Made Simple.
  • And of course, the host, Nat West, who will have more than one example of what I call “experimental” ciders in the book.

During the program, these four gents will describe their ciders and discuss American cider-making. It should be an incredibly enlightening evening, and having this kind of expertise on hand, along with this range of ciders, is extremely rare. Whether or not you want to buy a copy of the book, do yourself a favor and come on by for some great cider and cider discussion.

from Beervana

You Read It Here First – Best Book of the Year

Good Garden Photography

Over the past 7 years of blogging here at Gardening Gone Wild as the resident garden photographer I have been giving lots of photography tips.  Those who watched closely knew I was planning to put the best articles together as a book, and I am truly grateful for the encouragement.  Indeed, without your encouragement I would not have believed I had anything to say.

Good Garden Photography eBook cover

I have created three e-books so far from the years of columns here, and the first ebook, Good Garden Photography was released last December – just in time to submit to the Garden Writers Association for the annual awards.  I submitted, wanting the judge’s feedback – as a self publisher I was in uncharted territory.  When I received the Silver Award as the best E-book of the year I knew I had done something right.

Then I went to the GWA banquet in Pasadena to receive the award, and was astounded to find out it also was judged the Best Overall Book and received the 2015 Gold Award – the best garden book published in 2014 !  I am very proud.GWA-Gold-BestOverallBook

Thank you readers.  You can go back and read the first draft of each chapter here: 1. Composition 101 – Fill The Frame; 2. Composition and Balance; 3. Finding the Light; 4. Garden Appreciation; 5.Provocation and Intrigue and 6. Telling Stories.

Or you can purchase the final book on my PhotoBotanic website with a discount coupon “gold30” during October and November.  You can use the coupon at checkout for any of the three ebooks not just the gold winner.

The title of the book originally was “Good” Garden Photography to imply there is more to a “good” photo than just technically quality or aesthetics.  It must tell a story.

It is the fundamental tip when you are out with your camera:  think about what you want to say.  Don’t just grab the first snapshot that you see.  Think about what excited you to take the photo and use various composition techniques to fill your frame with your story.  Use the four edges of your camera viewfinder (or cell phone screen) as a canvas and listen to your own thoughts on gardening as you compose your image.

California drought tolerant succulent garden with Golden barrel cactus, Echinocactus grusonii, Aloe elgonica, A. cameronii, Senecio; design Jeff Moore

Look at the scene – and fill it with what you really see.

You will be well on your way to making your own “good” garden photo.

Thanks again readers, and stay tuned as I write more books through the blog platform at PhotoBotanic.

from Gardening Gone Wild