Fun Tag

Don't Miss Sebastopol's Gravenstein Apple Fair this Weekend!

This year marks the 100th! Anniversary of Sebastopol's first ever Gravenstein Apple Fair in 1910. Billed as "The Sweetest Little Fair" in Sonoma County, it is a celebration of Sonoma County's long tradition of agricultural delights. Now many of the apple orchards have given way to vineyards, and Sonoma County apples have long been less competitive on the world markets than those from Washington State and China, but the early ripening Gravenstein apple is still a hallmark of the best in local farming and fruit! Thanks to Sonoma County Farm Trails for keeping this tradition alive! If you can't make it to Sebastopol this weekend, Sonoma County Farm Trails offers a great on-line and printed guide to year round food tasting activities and events at Sonoma County's many small farms and markets. ...

Guide to Sonoma County Christmas Tree Farms-Share an enduring tradition

Before I ever moved to Sonoma County, I looked forward to my annual expedition to buy a fresh-cut Christmas tree at one of the many family-owned farms here. Many people from all over the Bay Area make the annual trip to Sonoma County's 20 plus Christmas tree farms. It is a far superior alternative to visiting the mall or Home Depot for a tree. It's a great excuse to get out doors in the fresh air and have some fun with the family. Farms from Knights Valley to Petaluma, Santa Rosa to Sebastopol offer stunning wine country vistas and a chance to cut your own tree, or buy a live tree. Many have picnic areas and other attractions such as tractor rides for the kids. You can find Christmas trees of every variety, wreaths and cedar garlands. What a great way to spend a day or two this holiday season! Drive through some of the most gorgeous country on earth, take a hike in the fresh air, drink some free cider, gobble up some candy canes, and come home with a very fresh Christmas tree for your holiday celebrations. There are at least 20 farms in Sonoma County that offer cut your own or live Christmas trees for sale. Most of them offer free apple cider, candy canes and coffee. Many offer tractor rides to the kids and Santa Claus is even know to visit a few. There are farms in Sonoma, Petaluma, Penngrove and Santa Rosa, but Sebastopol is the Christmas Tree Farm capital of Sonoma County with 12 farms in all. Tree farmers seem to be a dying breed as many folks go to a parking lot at a mall to buy trees trucked in from who knows where. Visiting a local tree farm sure is a lot more fun. Follow the link below to Sonoma County Uncorked for a beautiful slide show, map and guide to all the Christmas tree farms in Sonoma wine country. Feel free to comment with your favorite Christmas tree farm! ...

Horse Lovers! Don't Miss the 2nd Annual Sonoma Change Fundraising BBQ

Last year's inauguaral Benefit BBQ for the Sonoma CHANGE Program (Coins to Help Neglected and Abandoned Equines) was a great success!  A fun event in a beautiful venue that raised significant money to help coordinate efforts in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties to save neglected horses from abuse and neglect. In 2009, your help is needed more than ever. It seems that ticket sales are down this year due to the economy, and the need to help abandoned horses is greater than ever.  This year's event is at the beautiful Shone Farm of the Santa Rosa Junior College, on the border of Healdsburg, Forestville and Santa Rosa. Please visit the Sonoma CHANGE website to buy your ticket for this fun event coming up soon on Sunday, September 20, 2009.   You'll enjoy a great day with wonderful food, friends and family and lots of equestrian entertainment from dressage and jumping demonstrations, the chance to see and learn about all kinds of horses from Mustangs to Percherons and Friesians.  Enjoy drill teams, vaulting and carriage driving.  There will even be a Unicorn!  What a great way to spend a September Sunday and to benefit a great cause--the health and well-being of horses throughout the North Bay.  See you there! If you can't make it on the 20th, the CHANGE website will still accept your donation. If you would like more information about CHANGE, the video below will fill you in....

Wine Country and Ducks Redux, or just how early is spring this year?

The mustard is about a foot high with brilliant yellow flowers, the daffodils have just begun to bloom after pushing up since early December, and it was 74 degrees the other day. We have had two weeks of unbroken glorious weather which is lovely but we are finally getting some severely need rain. Grapegrowers are worried about early bud break, because we still have frost at night and will for some time. Today my thoughts turned to the pair of mallard ducks who spend their spring break by my pool, bordering some old vine zinfandel that belongs to a neighbor. Generally the last few years, they seem to miraculously show up right around the same time they spring into my mind. Perhaps they are not the only ones tuned into the lengthening days and warming weather? One of the things I love about living in the country, and being out and about early every morning to feed the horses at more or less the same time each day, is that I feel tuned in to nature in a way that I didn't quite get living "in town". Maybe I should set up a duck cam so I can capture their arrival this year? Last year they showed up on February 25th. I'll keep you posted when they return, meanwhile, here they are in 2008.   I guess I have intermittent spring fever....

Camels and Dressage?

OK I really am working on a more serious post about the 4 year high in home sales we experienced in Sonoma County real estate for the month of October 2008, with plunging inventory, but first this fun video for my horse (and camel) friends, from @WalkingHorse, a Twitter friend. ...

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