You know quiet? No, real quiet. Nature quiet. Sure I hear can hear other people when I’m hiking in Armstrong Woods but the ambient noise is deep. It’s full of damp, decay, moss, wood, insects….life.
No electronic hum. No traffic.
Agriculture Day was last week and we visited La Tortilla Factory (sadly we won’t get a tour of that location until later), La Franchi Dairy, Gourmet Mushroom Farm, Gabriel Farm, Shone Farm (JC farm), and Kendall Jackson Winery. Airport Express shuttled us from location to location and we learned a lot but only got to scratch the surface.
Lex McCorvey is the Executive Director of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau and he opened up our day for us. Seriously, I could have listened to him all day. I am a farm bureau member simply for the savings it gets me on my health insurance. I honestly don’t think after my insurance went from one carrier to another that I even need the membership anymore but after listening to what a wonderfully necessary organization this is, I will keep it simply to support them. With a Masters in Ag from Cal Poly and a vocational agriculture JC teacher, he spoke with such a mastery of the subject matter, I would’ve listened as long as he kept talking.
Art LaFranchi, owner of Rancho Laguna Dairy Corporation, was kind enough to show us his dairy farm, LaFranchi Dairy, a Clover Stornetta dairy. I came in a little urbanized and left with a high level of appreciation for the skill and yes, humaneness, that these dairy workers have for the animals that give them so much.
The Gourmet Mushroom Inc. farm was fascinating. As Bob Engel said, “We grow food from sawdust!” They’ve been doing it on the DL since 1977 and they have it DOWN. From alba clamshells ™ to trumpet royale ™, forest nameko ™ to maiteake frondosa ™, I’d never put much thought into gourmet mushrooms but now I want to taste them all. I wish there was a way to get them prepared by a chef and taste them all in their appropriate culinary environments.
Gabriel Farm is a classic hometown farm. Local, friendly, and a beautiful daytrip. They grown 9 varieties of Asian pears, have jam, juice, and other yummies from their bounty. I look forward to going back to their farm to pick my own apples and blackberries in the future.
I got a Buy Fresh Buy Local book printed by CAFF-Community Alliance with Family Farms-that really goes into detail about farmers’ markets, food seasons, CSAs or Community Supported Agriculture, and restaurants that support local agriculture. Please visit www.caff.org and www.foodroutes.org for more information.
We had lunch at the beautiful Shone Farm where we got a tour of the facility in addition to learning about challenges in agriculture, namely water and exotic pests. I was thoroughly impressed with the sheer variety of agricultural lessons contained at that farm via the Santa Rosa JC. Vineyard growth, winemaking, equine, livestock, crops, greenhouses, culinary, it goes on an on.
Last but not least, we visited Kendall Jackson and learned from a variety of people in the wine business the challenges and issues they face. We tasted several vintages and it ended the day nicely.
As you can see, there was so much I learned, I simply had to share!
Today, March 24, was named after Ada Lovelace, who is considered the world’s first computer programmer. I just had to give my thanks to Suw Charman-Anderson for creating Ada Lovelace Day and to Linda Rodriguez for writing about it in Mental Floss (RT @thinkgeek). Please click the link to check out Linda’s great article.
I am on the peripheral of the technology field but I think every girl needs a woman to look up to regardless of their field of expertise. If not your mother, relative, teacher or friend, women do need examples of strong women to help us through the tough times.
Here’s to the strong and intelligent women in our lives!
I bid on tickets at the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce to see Henry Rollins “An Opinionated Evening with Henry Rollins” sponsored by Copperfield’s Books, but didn’t get them. Fast forward 2 weeks, the winner of those tickets emails me the day before (thanks Minna!) to let me know she can’t go. Awesome! Random act of punk.
I bring my very ladylike girlfriend, Malia, whom I don’t think will be able to handle it. She’s down and survives quite nicely. Anyway, the crowd was definitely a mixture of aging punksters, bohemian SoCo’s, and the over 65 wine and cheesers. Really interesting mix of people.
It was very long, loud, educational, travel-filled, surprisingly funny, and did I mention loud? I had no idea that after hearing him in Black Flag, seeing his random cameos in movies, and watching him as a talking head on “Where are they Now?” that he would be traveling the world spreading brotherly love and have a main concern of human rights. I want my eyes opened, tell me what you feel.
Teach, Henry, teach.
Biological on the tree! (doesn’t make sense unless you were there!)