If you live anywhere near northern California, get over to the Sonoma County Museum before the end of the year to check out their "Hybrid Fields" exhibit. It’s a fascinating collection of earth-and-garden-and-food-as-art that encourages visitors to think about what they eat and why they eat it, with a particular emphasis on issues like food justice, land use, GMOs, biodiversity, and slow food.
I’m particularly in love with Laura Parker’s "Soil Bar" exhibit in which she offers up a taste of the earth itself the way you’d taste wine. How appropriate for Sonoma County, where they claim to have more soil variety than France, and where the flavors of the wine and the cheese and the tomatoes are believed to be very much a product of the soil. So why not fill your glass with dirt and give it a try? Her exhibit includes wine glasses and wine bottles filled with soil from around Sonoma County, and yes, they’re actually going to hold some tastings.
A couple of examples of her soil tasting notes:
Lagier Ranch, Veritas Fine Sandy Loam
The texture is silky fine, pumice like. Its color is light, like burnt almond. The nose is earthy with vegetal quality, like green chard and pine, built for the long haul with good supporting acidity. Hardpan finish. Suitable to serve with deep rooted crops.
Indian Camp Ground, "Arrowhead Reserve"
Texture like ground espresso between your fingertips with a rich, chocolate color.The nose is both flinty and grassy with finesse and subtlety. Old growth region.