Hands-on experience for families at Preston Farm
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 4:17 p.m.
Family Fun at Preston Organic Farms: Preston of Dry Creek has been so much more than a winery for years now and there's a great opportunity coming up soon to get your hands dirty in the other part of this family endeavor.
Lou and Susan Preston and their staff have teamed up with the Healdsburg Center for the Arts for a four-day family experience.
Here's how it works. On three Mondays, Oct. 1, 8 and 15, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., you and your child will work together at the farm, with instructors Lisa Phipps and Preston staff members. You'll learn what it takes to maintain an organic farm and also get hands-on experience in harvesting and preparing the farm's foods. You'll also look into the process of fermentation, which is a natural process that produces everything from compost and wine to bread, apple cider, pickles and sauerkraut.
Participants will also make pizza using flour that is grown and milled at the farm.
The fourth class takes place on Monday, Oct. 22, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Center for the Arts, where you'll create labels for the all the delicious foods you've canned at Preston.
Cost for one parent and one child is $100.
To register, visit healdsburgcenterforthearts.com or call 431-1970.
Harvest Fair Dog Dash: The Sonoma County Harvest Fair is one of the biggest fetes of the season and offers a great opportunity to both celebrate the harvest, taste the award-winning wines and purchase your favorites at a discount.
The fair has something for everyone, including non-drinkers, farmers, ranchers, children, anyone who loves to cook and, now, your beloved pup.
A new Bark Park has been added in what was the Redwood Theater and features frisbee dog performances, a pet costume parade and the Harvest Dog Dash. The dash requires advance registration and participating pups must weigh less than 25 pounds. Competing dogs will be grouped by age — 12 months and younger, ages 1 through 8 and over 8. Registrants receive two free tickets to the fair.
Registration by mail is already closed but online registration for the Harvest Dog Dash will continue through October 3. To register, visit harvestfair.org, where you can also find a complete schedule of activities, details about the fair's marketplace, art show and sale and more.
The Harvest Fair takes place on Oct. 5, 6 and 7 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. General admission is is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 7 to 12. There are also several packages that will save you money; you'll find details on the website but these special deals are valid only through Oct. 4. If you prefer not to purchase on line, you can stop by the Harvest Fair office at 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Tea and Mystique: This weekend, Russian River Rose Company hosts its final open garden days of the year.
On Saturday there will be tea leaf readings at 10 and 11 a.m. and 2 and 3 p.m. On Sunday, Gradina, a Bulgarian singing group will perform at 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tea will flow from antique Russian samovars, chef Jake Martin of the Healdsburg Charcuterie will make rose cookies and the 2012 “Rose Embrace” perfume and rose water will be introduced.
Guests can enjoy the Rose Allee and the butterfly garden at their leisure.
There will also be a display of Russian heirloom artifacts and perfume atomizers. Rose water and rose perfume will be available for purchase.
The garden is open and tea will be served from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Reservations are not required. A charge of $9.50 per person includes Russian tea, rose cookies, tea-leaf reading (on Saturday) or the musical performance (on Sunday). A portion of the event's proceeds will benefit three local non-profit organizations.
Russian River Rose Company is located at 1685 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg. For more information, visit russian-river-rose.com.
Up close and personal with olives: Next Saturday, Oct. 6, Marin Organic hosts a tour of McEvoy Ranch from 2 to 4 p.m.
McEvoy Ranch is absolutely gorgeous, with several thousand olive trees, a remarkable organic garden and a milling room with some of the best olive oil production equipment in the world.
The tour includes an olive oil tasting and evaluation.
Cost of the tour is $25 for Friends of Marin Organic and $30 for non-members. Annual membership is $40 per family. Participants must be 10 years of age or older and dogs are not welcome.
McEvoy Ranch is at 5935 Red Hill Road in Petaluma.
To register, to become a member and to learn more about the organization, visit marinorganic.org.
Market and Faire at Rose and Thorn: On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the whimsical Rose and Thorn in Sebastopol hosts a farm-style market and faire.
In addition to browsing the retail store, you can enjoy locally made scones and cookies, taste wines, vinegars and mustards from a local winemaker and, of course, hang out among the chickens, one of the most amazing flocks we've ever seen, with rare breeds as whimsical as the location itself.
You'll also find metal garden art, rock art, miniature gardens, woodburning items, handmade soaps, pottery, linen, vintage silver, local wool, handbags made of recycled materials, local honey, glass art, handmade hats, walking sticks, chicken coups, Adirondack chairs, children's furniture and more.
In addition, there will be live music — harp, acoustic folk, jazz and rock — and more.
Rose and Thorn is located at 10050 Bodega Highway in west Sebastopol.
Admission to the market and faire is free.
A Taste of Laos: On Saturday, Wat Lao Saysettha, a Lao Buddhist temple in south Santa Rosa, is hosting another food festival.
The menu features Lao-style pho, a noodle soup; nam kao, a rice salad; red curry soup with rice; papaya salad; grilled chicken; a fried banana dessert and Thai ice tea and ice coffee. There will likely be other foods, as well, though we did not have confirmation of them as of press time.
And, really, the exact menu doesn't matter: Whatever is served, you'll have a delicious adventure and discover a unique Sonoma County community of about 500 individuals.
Food sales begin at noon. There is no admission charge and foods are sold individually, so bring plenty of cash. If you'd like to take foods home with you, bring containers.
Be sure to take time to see the temple (remove your shoes before entering), which is absolutely beautiful.
On Sunday, the temple hosts Thak Baat, a Buddhist holiday ceremony, and Khao Saluk, a ceremony offerings gifts to one's ancestors. Ceremonies begin at 10 a.m.
Wat Lao Saysettha is located at 3625 Moorland Ave., north of Todd Rd., in Santa Rosa. At first, it will seem that you are driving into a private residence, but don't worry, you're in the right place. The temple, patio and kitchen are located behind the house you see first. There is plenty of parking, too.
Michele Anna Jordan hosts “Mouthful” each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM.
E-mail Jordan at email@example.com.
You'll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.
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