When Dirt walked up to — finally! — get our copy of Francesco Mastalia’s just-out coffee table book, Organic, the last of the 24 copies was in the hands of a local farmer with a long beard named Orion Blake, and Mastalia was capping his Sharpie.
Mastalia, along with Thomas Roberts of Ye Olde Book Shoppe in Warwick, were standing under an empty tent at the Warwick Valley Farmers Market, looking like they’d just shared a lunch of canary.
The book is receiving rave reviews, and Mastalia’s ambrotypes are being hailed as “among the finest being made in the world today.” Even so, selling out was a bit of a surprise since it was pricier to buy it here than online. As freelancer types have to be these days, Mastalia is a good salesman. He was encouraging book buyers to go around to the farmers at the market whose faces appeared in its pages — Vinny D’Attolico, Cheryl Rogowski, Rich Focht and Dan Madura — and have them sign their portraits, something you couldn’t do if you bought it on Amazon.