Jose Ruiz Dionicio

Writer and photographer Lisa Hamilton says the lack of direct contact between urban and rural Californians makes it feel as though California is made up of two wholly separate states. In a new project titled “Real Rural,” Hamilton and her partners introduce California’s unseen rural populations to their urban neighbors through photography, interviews and audio conversations.

The Real Rural California Project 31 January,2012forum

Lisa Hamilton, writer and photographer for Real Rural, a photojournalism project that aims to bring California's rural life to the urban public
Jon Christensen, executive director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University

  • Eyesofjon

    The great divide that I see existing between rural and urban California, as exists in all States, is rural people feeling that urban “folks” wanting to dictate  how country people  should live their lives. Whether this is done through laws, jokes, or the need to “explain” them has always been a bone of contention that will most likely always exist.

  • Michael


    If a rural person was to ask you what you most hope urban people will gain from your BART campaign and website, what would it be?

    Michael Dimock
    Roots of Change

    • Thomas Ells

      Michael, long time no see! I am an old friend of Dr David Bradwell’s & Beverly Rudolff’s, and of Farm Extension.

  • James Ivey

    I’ve seen stereotypical rural things in central California along side some amazing cultural things. 

    I’ve participated in the Japanese tradition of mochi tsuki (mochi pounding).  It’s a tradition dying out in Japan due to the lack of open spaces but survives in Japanese farming communities in central California. 

    And, this fascinating cultural experience was nicely juxtaposed with playing touch football with a boy named “Waco” in full cowboy regalia — boots and the big hat and everything.

    I’d say the Central Valley is a lot like Texas with a California twist.

  • Michael

    Urban and rural are completely interdependent. One cannot exist without the other. Urban people are the market for food and resources, the source of capital and technology, media messages. Rural people produce the food and steward the resources upon which all life exists. Until these to cultures can embrace the one another and see their common interests, we will have great trouble solving our complex food, resource and economic challenges.

  • Aregard

    Suburban San Jose?  I’m in DOWNTOWN San Jose, listening to your story on the radio as I feed my chickens and build two new raised beds for upcoming summer vegetables. Gotta go: the rabbit needs some fresh picked Romaine.

  • Guest

    To your earlier Caller:  Cultivating a addictive substance, just to assure a income, is not one of an ethical character.  Grow some other crop.

  • liberal not paternalistic

    as important, & perhaps even more so, than stressing the commonalities we have is to actually respect our real differences ~ when responding to the woman with an orange grove, the host was concerned about being seen as calling rural folks “bumbling” but then went on to note that with the internet, etc we can expect that some sort of sophistication would reach the rural areas. we need to be truthful with ourselves regarding biases we have. once we can actual see everyone for who they are, we can truly respect them instead of having to “make them like us” in order to see them as worthy

  • Thomas Ells

    I respect your show greatly, and the individuals who contribute. I would like to add, I find your shows today to have missed the point on several fronts. As to the question of high cost higher education, that is terrible, but the fees as brought up by one caller are 1/2 spread as contribution to grants; also of all the total costs 1/2 is for pensions, of which a great portion was lost in the financial debacle. So in truth, only 1/4 of the fee is current costs attributable to the paying student, 1/4 for the grant student, and 1/2 for the pension of the 2 professors needed to teach these students. If we just paid the 1/4 each, we would all be better off, that is of course if they still had the funds from the pensions before being lost.

    On the second part, rural California, again you missed the boat (a bit). Go to Asilamar, in Monterrey, CA, for the “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) conference. You will meet hundreds of highly educated farmers, all with their MS in Agriculture or Biology, striving for good food that is not raised with pesticides. Here began the organic movement. Then when you look back at California’s Rural landscape, you will find it to be homogeneous. It is homogeneous until it is not, when it is no longer homogeneous, we call it urban, or suburban. This includes places like Locke, CA (Asian), or Delano (Mexican), or Stockton, or Lodi, or Imperial, or Salinas. Then you can see how there are 2 levels of education in agriculture, only then can you begin a conversation about the 2 levels of education in agriculture.

    I should not be shocked at how devoid of true information all “programming” has become, I just wish it were not so with those programs I love and respect the most.

  • energyfood

    Thank you very much for your valuable discussion and i would like to add some topics.Will you like to check it out.
    Eating for Energy

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