The Sonoma County that we love!

Posts tagged ‘education’

The Hand Fan Museum of Healdsburg

hand fan hand fan museumI was in downtown Healdsburg, CA and spotted in a shop window a beautiful butterfly shaped hand fan. I wandered inside a small fantastical space that was filled with art. I had no idea that The Hand Fan Museum was there! In fact, it’s the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to hand fans and displays a permanent collection in addition to having a rotating exhibit.

The builder/owner of Hotel Healdsburg, Pamela Sher, has been a fan collector for over 30 years and is a member of Fan Association of North America. Open since 2002 and now a part of the h2hotel, this museum is a physical example of Sher’s desire to educate the public about the cultural significance of the hand fan as fans are snippets of our world culture and artistic representations of time.

The director, Liz Keeley was lovely to talk with about the beauty of what I was seeing as well as helping me understand the differences between periods and designs. Even though the space is small, about 1000 sq ft, the impact of these functional pieces of art is not lost on the visitor. Though the inexpensive but colorful folding fans brought me in, the displays of history took my breath away. Many are for show, some are for sale, the gift table is where I spent my money. With lots of options for the casual buyer, I bought a $1 fan for my little one and a more expensive Japanese inspired fan for myself. See my Flickr set of photos.

If you have the chance, drop by this free museum (non profit 501c3), learn a little and support their art programs for students. Or simply cool yourself off.

Agriculture Day for Leadership Santa Rosa Class 27

I’m involved in this great program called Leadership Santa Rosa run by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. All chambers have leadership programs but we are going into our 28th year, which I understand is the longest running of it’s kind in the U.S. I was in Class 26 and am the incoming President for the Alumni Association. There are many theme days: government, business, green issues, health & human services, media & marketing, justice, education, hospitality & tourism (watch for a blog on that one), and the most popular is agriculture. I was on the committee to produce Class 27’s Agriculture Day on 5/19/11. See my blog from last year’s Ag Day.

We visited the Rancho Laguna Dairy and heard from Art Lafranchi about the dairy business. What is amazing about this day is that it starts so early in the morning yet we are halfway through their workday by the time we arrive at the dairy. Last year when I went through the program compared to today were very different experiences. Since earlier this year, I have been flitting between being a vegan and a vegetarian. Those cows looked a lot different, let me tell you.

Flickr Photo Album

Tierra Vegetables is this wonderful CSA farm in Santa Rosa. Community supported agriculture, or CSA, is basically a membership to a farm. You pay a monthly cost to get a set amount of veggies either delivered for you or available for pickup. Evie & Wayne James gave us a lovely tour and the thing I noticed the most, next to the beautiful vegetation, was the fact that Wayne walked his land barefoot. I was blown away at the thought that he knew how his land felt through his entire body. Sounds silly but it’s a grounding concept. If you know of anyone that is stealing their produce, they’d greatly like it to stop.

There is a secret in Sonoma County. The Gourmet Mushroom Farm is this enclave of amazing foodstuffs in the form of fungi. The GMF doesn’t open their doors for anyone really. That’s the beauty of LSR. We get to go places no one else could get close to. Bob Engel gives us a tour every year and the idea that mushrooms can grow on wood always blows people away.

Most of the people traveling on that day were by bus, I drove my car because I had to leave early. This day is even more special because of the bonding that occurs on the bus.

On to Shone Farm, the botanical educational laboratory for the JC agriculture, viticulture, and culinary courses. Leonard Diggs is a farmer through and through. The beauty here is striking. The students that get to learn about animals, farming, vineyard work, winemaking, the culinary arts, as well as having a location for large events within the horse arena in the Dutton Pavilion. Last year we were there during tomato season and got to taste some ūüôā

We had a great panel of speakers to speak on Emerging Trends & Challenges of Agriculture. They were: Lex McCorvey, Sonoma County Farm Bureau; Dave Whitmer, Napa County Agriculture Commission & Interim Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner; Joe Pozzi, Pozzi Ranch Lamb; and Clark Wolf, Clark Wolf Company.

The day ended at DeLoach Vineyards with a panel on the¬†Sonoma County Wine Industry¬†with Brian Maloney of DeLoach Vineyards; Rhonda Smith of UC Cooperative Extension; and Nick Frey of Sonoma Winegrape Commission. There was a tasting but I’m sad to have missed that part of the day. The gardens, bees, vineyards, guesthouse, and pool were phenomenal.

Thanks to all the great hosts, speakers, and locations that are made available to this amazing program. We couldn’t do it without all of you!

The Salsa Bike Made Nature Even More Fun

Particulars:
Saturday October 23, 2010
LandPaths‘ Bayer Farm Neighborhood Park & Gardens
1550 West Ave., Santa Rosa

This event was supposed to be beautiful. The weather was supposed to cooperate and show off the lush grounds of Bayer Farm, a great community garden. Guess what? I’ve never gotten so wet in my whole life. It absolutely poured.

My club, Rotary Club of Santa Rosa West, and LandPaths have partnered to plant a Rotary Grove of Trees to supplement the wonderful vegetation already being grown in this urban garden. This event was for awareness raising in the community. Boy, it rained. But you know what? We still had a great time! (See the photo album here.)

There were youth volunteers, LandPaths staff, Rotary Club members and community members. The kids chopped fresh veggies, Rotary members cooked and prepped, we had an art table, a pumpkin carving section, an art show, a raffle, a health education booth, and a salsa bike. The salsa bike was my favorite part of the day. I learned how to make salsa from scratch and I will never forget how much fun those kids (and our Rotary President Bill Dodson took a turn!) had making salsa from their own foot power.

Who says nature has to be dry to be fun?

Free Speech Under Attack, Thank Your Librarian!

Particulars:
Banned Books Week
Last Week of September
Banned Books

Banned in the Children's section

I visited my local library this past weekend and saw these displays of books that were saved from being banned. I was blown away because I’d read almost every book displayed. (The Bible, The Color Purple, Fahrenheit 451, Harry Potter, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Huckleberry Finn, The Giving Tree, The Indian in the Cupboard, Harriet the Spy and more) See my Flickr album here.

Please, please support your local library! Remember intellectual freedom is about the right to learn. “BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.”¬†This is the basis of freedom of speech and the First Amendment. Please don’t take it for granted. When we take things for granted…..they disappear. Speak out!

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