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Earth Day celebration in Santa Rosa

Tessa McClary cleans up soil after packing up a water conservation landscaping display during the Earth Day celebration at Old Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa in 2012.

(BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 6:44 p.m.

Earth Day Celebration: The fourth annual Earth Day Festival takes place Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. in Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, with things kicking off early with an 8 a.m. park and creek clean-up at Prince Memorial Greenway and Juilliard Park.

The festival will feature live entertainment, food vendors and a broad array of information about green products, volunteer opportunities, local environmental organizations and more. Kids' activities include a bag toss, ping pong, hula hoops, yo-yo giveaways and several hands-on activities, from making art and origami frogs to dissecting owl pellets.

The Rethink Your Drink campaign will be participating in the celebration, with a booth and information on the health benefits of drinking tap water instead of sugared beverages. Admission to this family event is free.

A New Farmers Market is Coming to Santa Rosa: On Sunday, May 26, the West End Farmers Market will open in Railroad Square, on Donahue Street between West 9th and Boyce Streets, near the famous historic Round Barn. It will be open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stay tuned for details (vendors, manager, season), as opening day approaches.

Tickets to Barn Dance Gala: Tickets to Saturday's Barn Dance Gala, a benefit for Farm Trails, will be available at the event itself, should you have a last-minute desire to kick up your heels down on the farm.

Things get started with a farm tour at 3:30 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception and a bountiful buffet dinner prepared by Daniel Kedan of Backyard restaurant in Forestville. Following dinner, there will be dancing by the local band Cahoots.

It all takes place at Kathy and Joe Tresch's Two Rock Ranch (1051 Walker Road, Petaluma). Admission is $50 per person, $80 per couple and $10 for kids under 12.

The celebration is special for many reasons. Not only is it in part a celebration of Farm Trails' 40th year, it also celebrates Farm Trails survival, which had been in question in recent years. But the innovative organization, the first of its kind in the country, has survived a rough patch and is poised to move into a successful future.

For more information, visit

Final Tasting Tuesday: Next Tuesday, Willi's Wine Bar Tasting Tuesday series concludes its two-month run with Adam Lee and Dianna Novy Lee of Siduri Wines and Novy Family Wines.

Siduri Wines is best known for its small lots of premium single-vineyard pinot noir. Current releases include 19 different wines, seven from 2011 and 12 from 2010. Novy Family Wines include gewurztraminer, sauvignon blanc, viognier, chardonnay and several single-vineyard syrahs, along with two wines from Van der Kamp Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain and a “blanc de pinot noir” from Willamette Valley. Things get started at 4 p.m. and conclude at 5:30 p.m. and feature three specially selected wines paired with three nibbles.

Cost is $16, plus tax. You can buy an advance ticket online at or simply show up and hope there's room. Willi's Wine Bar is at 4404 Old Redwood Highway, Santa Rosa.

Gumbo Gathering: On Saturday, Meadowcroft Wines is offering an opportunity to learn to make authentic Cajun gumbo.

Here's the deal. Phyllis Hyland, the winery's tasting room manager, is from Eunice, La., in the heart of Cajun country. Making gumbo, you could say, is in her blood. Starting at noon, she will present a cooking demonstration that includes the all-important basics, including how to make a perfect roux and why, exactly, the culinary “holy trinity” — onions, green pepper, celery — is so crucial in Cajun cooking.

Cost is $18 per person, which includes wine and gumbo. If you want to join in, make your reservation pronto, as seating is limited. Call 934-4090 to secure a seat. Meadowcroft Wine's tasting room is in Cornerstone Sonoma at 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma.

Happy Anniversary, Dutton-Goldfield: On Saturday, Dutton-Goldfield Winery's tasting room celebrates its third anniversary, and you're invited to join in the fun. There will be live music on the patio, special food and wine pairings and a tasting of all current releases. The tasting room is located at 3100 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Benefit for Redwood Empire Food Bank: On Saturday, on your way to this or that event, you might want to stop by Coddingtown and cast a vote for your favorite construction in the Canstruction Competition, hosted by the North Coast Region of the Network for a Healthy California.

Several organizations have used canned foods to construct whimsical sculptures, and awards will be presented at 2 p.m.

Each construction must consist of at least 500 cans. After the awards ceremony, sculptures will be dismantled and the cans donated to the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Last year's event yielded more than 20,000 cans of food.

From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Canstruction will offer special events for the entire family. Admission is free but a donation of canned foods is encouraged.

Red Barn Store Opens for 2013: Oak Hill Farm's Red Barn Store (15101 Sonoma Highway 12, Glen Ellen) opens for the season on Thursday, May 2. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Sunday through Dec. 22.

The store features estate-grown vegetables, fruit and flowers, all farmed using organic practices since the 1950s. In addition to delicious spring crops, you'll also find spring flowers and decorative greenery, dried wreaths, local art and unique gifts at the store.

On the first Saturday of each month through October, there is a free farm tour, which begins at 10 a.m. The farm, which was the first property protected by the Sonoma Land Trust, embraces 700 acres nestled against the Mayacmas on the east side of the Valley of the Moon.

Baby's Back! Handsome Dwight “Rasta Dwight” Jones and his delicious barbecue fare, including his famous baby back ribs, have returned to Sonoma County's culinary scene. He's set up shop at Quincy's Pub and Cafe (6590 Commerce Blvd., Rohnert Park, 585-1079), where he serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

You'll find all your favorites plus new dishes, including homemade hot links and Hawaiian purple sweet-potato pie. Jerk chicken, jerk pork, red beans and rice, mustard greens, mac and cheese, cole slaw and pecan pie are all on the menu.

Jones has been cooking locally since the mid 1980s, when he was the opening chef at Pizza Gourmet's first location in Cotati. And he's never really gone away. He simply closed his restaurant in Cotati to focus on raising his daughter, who is now 12.

Ms. Mouthful says, “Welcome back, Dwight!”

Horticultural Road Trip: If you feel like getting out of Dodge this weekend, you might consider a trip to Lake County for “Grow With Us,” a Horticultural Happening in Upper Lake on Saturday and Sunday. The event includes display gardens, artists, speakers, activities for kids, outdoor sculpture and more.

The Red Barn features several garden displays, including one by the Kelseyville Kids Garden Club and another by the Mendocino College Agriculture Department.

Several speakers are featured at the Tallman Hotel Meeting House, with arborist Keith Brandt at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Julie Serences speaking on building a backyard habitat on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. The Tallman Gardens hosts the work of three sculpture artists and on Saturday at 2 p.m., the extraordinary gardener Kate Frey will appear.

Grow With Us is sponsored by the Blue Wine Saloon, The Elegant Bowl, Lake County Wine Studio, Lightning Rod Gallery, Redbud Audubon Society, the Tallman Hotel and Upper Lake Community Council.

For a full schedule of events and directions, visit

(Michele Anna Jordan hosts “Mouthful” each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM.

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