Jared Farmer’s new book is “Trees in Paradise: A California History.” We’ll also talk about Utah history, and Farmer will offer his list of iconic Utah trees as well. California now has more trees than at any time since the late Pleistocene. This green landscape, however, is not the work of nature. It's the work of history. In the years after the Gold Rush, American settlers remade the California landscape, harnessing nature to their vision of the good life. Horticulturists, boosters, and civic reformers began to "improve" the bare, brown countryside, planting millions of trees to create groves, wooded suburbs, and landscaped cities. They imported the blue-green eucalypts whose tangy fragrance was thought to cure malaria. They built the lucrative "Orange Empire" on the sweet juice and thick skin of the Washington navel, an industrial fruit. They lined their streets with graceful palms to announce that they were not in the Midwest anymore.
Shane Taylor from Cactus and Tropicals helps extend the life of your poinsettia. In addition, you'll learn how to grow a vivarium. It's like a terrarium but with animals like a salamander or poison dart frog. You'll also learn how earth's flowering plants found their winter parkas to survive the last ice age, then Helen Canon treats us to another Petals and Prose.
On the show this week, I feature the insightful and potent songs on Disappear Fear’s new release, as well as the layered and smart songs from Vienna Teng. I’ll also play tracks from new albums by Johnny Flynn, Greg Trooper, and Carolann Solebello, among other talented artists. Tune in and listen, this Saturday at 8pm, to Fresh Folk on Utah Public Radio.
"Latvian women knitted hundreds of pairs of mittens and her dowry included an entire chestful of mittens to be distributed to her husband’s family, given not just to her new in-laws, but also to her husband’s family’s cows and pigs, the fruit trees, and even to inanimate objects like doorknobs and stables. A bride and groom even ate their wedding meal with their mittens on. Many a folk song tells of the foolish man who chooses a pretty hand over a warm one."
Academy Award nominations will be announced tomorrow morning and the Sundance Film Festival is up and running. It’s a good time to talk movies. We’ll ask you for your Oscar predictions and complaints. Also what movies do you recommend? Could be films out now or favorites from the past. We’ll be joined by UPR’s Steven Smith and Katie Swain from Park City and by Ogden Standard Examiner film critic Steve Salles. We’re talking movies on Thursday’s Access Utah.
Years ago, Jenny and I sat in an emergency room waiting for a doctor to attend her broken foot. A young blonde woman sat holding a limp, feverish toddler in her lap. Four other children under 10 huddled around her- all were clean and well behaved. Their father was working at a part time job.
In 2011, with U.S.–Iran relations at a thirty-year low, Iranian-American writer Hooman Majd decided to take his blonde, blue-eyed Midwestern wife Karri and his infant son Khash from their Brooklyn neighborhood to spend a year in the land of his birth. “The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay” traces their domestic adventures and tracks the political drama of a terrible year for Iran's government. The Green Movement had been crushed, but the regime was on edge, anxious lest democratic protests resurge. International sanctions were dragging down the economy while talk of war with the West grew. Hooman Majd was there for all of it. It was to be a year of discovery for Majd, too, who had only lived in Iran as a child.
It’s all there in “Latter-day Lore: Mormon Folklore Studies” (from University of Utah Press) -- The Three Nephites, The Beehive, Creative Date Invitations, BYU Coed Jokes, The Folklore of Mormon Missionaries, The Apocalypse, and more. “Latter-day Lore” explores society, symbols, and landscape of regional culture; formative customs and traditions; the sacred and the supernatural; pioneers, heroes, and the historical imagination; humor; and the international contexts of Mormon folklore.
Growing up poor in a devout Mormon home in Logan, UT was anything but ordinary for Ingrid Ricks. Spending summers on the road with her traveling salesman father, sleeping in trucks, and selling merchandise on the side of the highway was an escape from the strict rules of her mother and controlling stepfather.. In “Hippie Boy,” her best-selling ebook (now out in paperback,) Ricks paints a vivid picture of her childhood living with a mother who made her pray more than seven times a day, a verbally and emotionally abusive, domineering stepfather, four siblings and a father who was never around.