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British American Journalist Frances Rivetti's delicious romp through California's southern Sonoma County & coastal west Marin.
British American Journalist Frances Rivetti's delicious romp through California's southern Sonoma County & coastal west Marin.
113 backers pledged $9,094 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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"I firmly believe, from what I have seen, that this is the chosen spot of all this earth as far as nature is concerned." Luther Burbank, Horticulturalist — 1875

Fog Valley Crush is my love letter in book form to my favorite micro-region of farmers, food innovators, artists and dreamers — featuring friends, neighbors and key players, past and present. 

  • PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY/COPIES BY OCTOBER 9TH 

As a British/American journalist and lifestyle columnist based in the heart of the most bountiful foodshed in the American West, I'm drawn to the best of today's farm to table offerings in the area from the ardent home cook, modern-day settler and professional storyteller's perspective. 

Join me on an in-depth romp through the farming history and renaissance of the Gold Rush Rivertown city of Petaluma and Pacific coastal countryside, 40 miles north of San Francisco, California.

A Bookmark With Every Copy! 

Pledge $20 and Pre-Order Your Copy, Now!

Part memoir, part reportage, Fog Valley Crush spans two continents, with a brief glimpse into the lives of several generations of country folk who farmed the half land of earth and water, the mystical East Anglian Fens of my native U.K.,  to my home from home in the ancient Miwok tribal hunting grounds that are the super fertile southern Sonoma and coastal west Marin Northern California counties. 

Many thousands of hours have been dedicated to the research and reporting, three years of writing and editing of Fog Valley Crush. Each individual pledge supports the realization of this book from writer's desk (and kitchen table), to a beautifully designed physical text. 

As with the best of literary portraits of place, Fog Valley Crush opens a door into a destination in which you, as reader will be inspired to roam and taste for yourself.

Pledge $70 and Pre-Order Your Holiday Four-Pack, Now!

Specially selected black and white images from my roving reporter's photo files (see below for a few in their original, full-color format) offer extra insight into the culture of the area, placed at the end of each chapter. 

This softcover book will be around 300 pages long, 6 x 9 inches in size, featuring 20 chapters, each with its own suitably appealing and rustic country-song title. It will be bound with a quality cover, specially designed to be flexible, the sort of book I like to tote around for a quick diversional read while out and about and one that feels good in the hands. 

Contents:

Prologue

Chapter 1 - "Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy"

A Curious Invitation to Dine

Chapter 2 - "Wide Open Spaces"

The Region's First Inhabitants

Chapter 3 - "Home on the Range"

An Anglo-Italian Household

Chapter 4 - "Small Town USA"

At Home in the Egg Basket of the World

Chapter 5 - "Family Tradition"

Just Like Italy! Roots

Chapter 6 - "Sixteen Tons"

How to Make Wine

Chapter 7 - "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink"

Contraband Root Stock, Prohibition and Today's Cool Climate Premium Wine Pioneers

Chapter 8 - "Don't Fence Me In"

Biodynamic Farming, A Slice of the Farm Bill Pie, Farm Interns

Chapter 9 - "Bring on the Rain"

Water Footprint and Drought

Chapter 10 - "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On"

Trout, Rabbit and Other Slow Food Devotees

Chapter 11 - "Mammas Do(n't) Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowgirls"

Artisan Cheese Visionaries and Pioneers Shape the New Normandy

Chapter 12 - "Big Ol' Brew"

Craft Micro-Beer Making

Chapter 13 - "Wildwood Flower"

Heirloom Seeds, Woolly Whackers and Chinese Herbs

Chapter 14 - "Walking After Midnight"

Owl Boxes, A Cackling Coven Cafe

Chapter 15 -  "All the Gold in California"

Olive Oil

Chapter 16 - "Cafe on the Corner"

Social and Cultural - Slow Food Well Served

Chapter 17 - "The Grand Tour"

Out West - Goat, Times Two, Rack and Stew, The Oyster Trail, Overnight at Ruthie's Cottage

Chapter 18 - "Down on the Farm"

Chileno Valley - Fine and Fiber Arts and Thanksgiving in the Red Barn

Chapter 19 - "Mama Sang a Song"

Preserving, Canning and The Little Red Bench

Chapter 20 - "Take Me Home Country Road"

Reinventing the Farm Wheel, Agricultural Forefront and a Fall Forager's Dinner

I've sought out the most awesome dream team to work with me on the aesthetic and design of  Fog Valley Crush. Friend and fellow-settler, editor Elaine Silver was instrumental from the get-go in the writing of this book. Northern California-based illustrator extraordinaire, Nicky Ovitt's  pen and ink lettering and sketches are perfection on the page. Maven of international and domestic print, professional book guru and graphic designer, Lorna Johnson's hands-on, meticulous and unflappable guidance make for the perfect pairing in transforming the book into print. 

Hours spent in the Petaluma Historical Museum and Library revealed a heritage of delightful and original regional recipes, several of which have made it into the book to illustrate the timeless simplicity of sourcing fresh, seasonal and local foods for today's home cooking. I've also featured a few of my own family's homespun vineyard-kitchen favorites. You'll find a short recipe at the end of each chapter. 

A million and one thank-you's to Rocco Rivetti and Gilles O'Kane for so kindly agreeing to having been called back home for a day or two to produce such a beautiful and evocative book trailer. 

I feel passionately about this book being independently published in today's re-energized spirit of the can-do pioneer. By raising funds through crowd sourcing, we retain full creative control. Jump on board the foodie-wagon, we're ready to roll.

The Plan:

With your help in funding this Kickstarter project, a minimum goal of $7,500 will cover the basics for an initial limited edition "First Vintage" print run. These first edition books are anticipated to arrive in Petaluma, CA, by mid to late November, 2014. The costs involved in building a book are considerable – any additional funds raised over and above this minimum goal will be put to good work in the production process of this and any subsequent editions. 

Book talk on KSRO Radio with Michael "Bug" Deakin and Steve Jaxson
Book talk on KSRO Radio with Michael "Bug" Deakin and Steve Jaxson

Risks and challenges

Fog Valley Crush is fully edited, formulated and ready to take to the next level. Its super talented Petaluma CA-based print logistics and design team is poised to make it every bit as polished and perfectly packaged as the best of books of its kind. The only risk involved in backing this project is if print production time takes slightly longer than projected. Backers will be informed if there are any unanticipated delays in the production process.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    One (1) "First Vintage" edition of Fog Valley Crush, hot off the press. A big thank-you from me when you pick up a personalized copy in person. Petaluma, CA locations to be announced.

    (Add $4 USD for U.S. delivery outside of Petaluma, CA)

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Holiday Four (4) Pack "First Vintage" edition of Fog Valley Crush, hot off the press. And a pat on the back for being on your holiday shopping game! A big thank-you from me when you pick up personalized copies in person — Petaluma, CA signing times and locations to be announced at close of campaign.

    (Add $10 USD for U.S. delivery outside of Petaluma, CA)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    Ten (10) "First Vintage" edition copies of Fog Valley Crush, signed and hand-delivered with a big thank-you from me to you anywhere in Sonoma or West Marin counties. Option to pick up personalized copies in person —Petaluma, CA signing times and locations to be announced at close of campaign.

    (Add $20 USD for U.S. delivery outside of the San Francisco North Bay)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Celebrate the arrival of Fog Valley Crush during harvest season festivities in Southern Sonoma County. Two (2) "First Vintage" edition copies of Fog Valley Crush and a big thank-you from me when you and your one (1) guest pick up one personalized copy per person, at a private book launch reception in the Petaluma Arts Center on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014. This celebratory event, hosted by Frances, will take place late afternoon/early evening. Regional, seasonal refreshments await.

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Funding period

- (30 days)