The Sonoma County that we love!

Posts tagged ‘dig it!’

Tech Sweet Spot

I could never have been born in a more awesome place. I realize that just now.

I was born (and currently live) in the largest city in one of the most conscious locations on the planet. It is primed to receive an exodus of some of the most advanced technological minds right to my backyard. I live in Santa Rosa, an hour north of San Francisco. It’s groovy, it’s crunchy granola, we’re tree huggers, we’re conscious, there’s meditation, vegetarianism, veganism, the slow food movement, hippies, we have a high gay population, and the highest ranking community in California for volunteerism. We even have the Bohemian Grove, a notoriously secret enclave of Republican and conservative old boys meeting in our woods every year. It’s a fabulous, tolerant and diverse place to live.

But there’s something happening in the South Bay and Silicon Valley based tech organizations. The world tips towards the Bay Area when it comes to technology but many are leaving. Creating a startup and working at a huge successful company are completely different animals. A lot of those forward thinking people and those that created tremendous fortunes and became very influential in their fields are now retiring and/or moving onto new ventures. And where are they retiring to? Wine Country.  Right in the heart of where I live.

Consciousness AND technology? It couldn’t get any better.

Nature in the Neighborhood

Particulars:
Saturday July 10, 2010
Bayer Neighborhood Park & Gardens
1550 West Ave., Santa Rosa
(view my Flickr photo album)

Bayer Farm

I am a fairly new member of Rotary Club of Santa Rosa West and my club does something special. The club has for the last two years provided new members or “Red Badge-r”s the opportunity to take a $1000 stipend and either donate it to a cause or turn it into something more. The first year this was done an event to fundraise for a program called Dogs for Diabetics. (I will talk more about their upcoming July 17 soon). My team has decided to support the Bayer Neighborhood Park & Gardens which is commonly known as Bayer Farm. We visited the site to get a better feel for what they do. (stay tuned for an announcement of the way my Red Badge team will support the farm)

Community gardeners, currently 37 families, maintain 34 plots as well as the common land. It sits on City of Santa Rosa land and will eventually be turned into a public park. The city provides the water and compost setup while LandPaths is the organization that operates the endeavor. The main goal is providing a chance for urban families to experience nature by maintaining their own gardens, education, and supporting the neighborhood.

Community gardeners must agree to perform a predetermined amount of volunteer hours before being assigned a plot, pay $20 per year as an honorarium, and continue to participate in maintaining the community grounds. There is a waiting list but thankfully it isn’t too long.

Sunflower

Redwood Empire Food Bank runs a Free Summer Lunch Program Monday-Friday 11:30-1pm in the summer, feeding an average of 80 children a day.

It has a teaching & demonstration garden and workshops are taught where one can learn various things like how to plant a winter garden (upcoming Aug. 21 and I WILL be attending). The cost for the workshops are on a sliding scale, approx. $20 at the top end. They are hoping to incorporate cooking classes soon. The produce that is a result of the teaching garden is sold at the Bayer Farmstand right on site August-October.

Friday events are a community party. Aztec drummers, food, families, pumpkin carving in season, puppet shows and more. They partnered with KRCB on Tom Sawyer Day with many small town activities for the kids including a treasure hunt and three legged races.

Several nearby schools have educational relationships with the farm. Curriculum has been developed and provided to teachers so that they can bring their classes to the farm on their own, if desired. Educators are also encouraged to use the farm for lessons other than gardening. If they can think of ways to teach math, science, languages and more using the space, bring it! The Girl Scouts and 4H have many days spent in the sun, working on the land. 4H is donating the produce from their plot to the farmstand. High school kids are able to log in their required volunteer hours working at Bayer. Social Advocates for Youth (SAY) even get their kids that are staying in the shelter out of the house and into the therapeutic work of gardening in their plot.

The greatest need Bayer Farm has is the money to pay for the operating costs of the program as well as the salaries for the employees it takes to make everything run. They also have something unique, Magdalena, LandPaths’ Bayer Farm Outreach Coordinator. She is bilingual and that is absolutely necessary in the neighborhood that Bayer is located in.

If you have a recession/victory garden, are part of the slow food movement, love sustainability, your community, are locally minded, want to fight obesity, raise awareness about the importance of getting back to the land and feeding our brothers good food, please visit Bayer Farm. You will fall in love and want to romp the grounds like a little kid. And I promise I won’t tell anyone if you climb the big tree.

The Big Tree at Bayer Farm

The Big Tree-the first some kids have ever climbed

Speed Demon

Particulars:
Tuesday 3/16/10 4pm
Driven Raceway, Rohnert Park
Leadership Santa Rosa Pretour

I don’t know about you but I’m quite competitive. Usually I only want to best myself but in this case, I wanted to whoop on others. Notably, I did not want to be last. Unfortunately, this is where I ended up. 😦

I went on a tour of Driven Raceway with my Leadership Santa Rosa Class as part of our Business & Economy Day. Our goal was to learn more about local businesses and how they conducted themselves. I’ll say out of all the pretours we’ve done, this was the one with the most adrenaline. I had been very excited to visit this facility ever since it opened last summer.

Here’s the jist:
indoor kart racing with high speed electric karts (up to 45mph)
corporate team building
birthday parties
fundraising events
dark light mini golf
mini bowling
arcade center
snack bar

Dark Light Racer

The one thing that kept me from going before was the price of racing (14 laps-$20 for members, $25 non-members). But when I visited, I learned that they also had all the other play stuff. I think I was more excited about the golf, bowling, and arcade than I was about the racing at the end of the tour. It’s totally affordable, I can bring my child that’s too small to race (must be 48″ tall+), and I can add it to my repertoire of fun family events that are owned by local businesses. Ride on!

Speed Demons

I Am Sonoma County

I was laying in bed this morning asking myself, “What does my intuition tell me to do today?” and within a couple minutes I had it.

I Am Sonoma County

Simple. I was born and raised here. I know more about this place than your average bear. I love it and even though I lived in Southern California for 5 years, I never did feel the need to leave this area.

So this is an account of my travels and adventures. If I’m going, I’ll let you know what I see and do.

Sonoma County, I love you!

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