May is Living Schoolyards Month!

Sonoma County schools are encouraged to participate in the first Living Schoolyard Month this month of May! A new California state resolution encourages school districts to design and construct schoolyard green spaces and use these areas for teaching outside of the classroom. The Living Schoolyard Month resolution was adopted on June 16, 2014, establishing an annual statewide celebration of school grounds to be held each May. We encourage schools throughout the county to take their students outside during the month of May and throughout the year to celebrate green spaces on campus. School garden classes are a perfect way to enjoy green spaces on campus and the Living Schoolyards Guide is a wonderful resource for many more great ideas.  Green Schoolyards of America, a non-profit dedicated to expanding the strengthening the green schoolyard movement, invites you to share what you did for your Living Schoolyard Month celebration which they will share online at the end of the month.  For more information, go to greenschoolyardsamerica.org.

Guerneville Elementary Spring Garden Celebration this Sunday!

As part of the Farm Trail’s Spring Tour, the Guerneville School Garden is having a garden celebration on Sunday, May 3rd, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Clarke Wolf, author and food consultant, will host the event and there will be a cooking demonstration at 1:00 p.m. by Chef Crista Luedke from Boon Eat & Drink, Big Bottom Market, and El Barrio. There will be silent auction which will close at 2:00 p.m. as well as free crafts for kids and the plant sale. Guerneville Elementary School is located at 14630 Armstrong Woods Road, Guerneville. Please come and join in on the fun!

GuernevilleGarden

Support Sebastopol Charter School’s Garden – Taste of West County Fundraiser

Sebastopol Charter School’s upcoming fundraiser, the Taste of West County, is scheduled for Sunday, May 17th at the Vine Hill House in Sebastopol. Money raised from this auction will go toward purchasing equipment for parent and students to begin prepping their school garden site (i.e shovels, work gloves, soil amendments, plants, etc.).  Sebastopol Charter is celebrating its 20th year as a K-8th grade Waldorf-inspired public charter school.  Gardening, along with sustainability is incorporated into its programming in every grade, with an emphasis in 3rd grade especially.  Students learn how to grow and cook their own food as a class. With the help of parents, they build planters and tend to them from seeds to harvest and enjoy eating and cooking with them and bringing home extras to family and friends. Over the years, students have had the opportunity to use larger garden spaces from local school neighbors and families.  They look forward to reaching their dream of having their own garden and farm from where they can reap the nourishing benefits of the many possibilities it will afford them, including things such as a school Community Supported Agriculture program, on site and hands-on gardening curriculum, composting education, and school lunches which will include school grown produce. For more information on the fundraiser, click here.

Plastic Bottle Cap Mural Project at Grant Elementary School

Grant School just got a little more colorful!

“By taking something ordinary – plastic bottle tops – which we typically toss in the trash without a second thought, and repurposing them to create colorful art, we hoped to showcase how beautiful recycling could be,” said Aimee Vorhaus, one of the parent project leads.

This truly was a school wide art project.  Teachers, parents and students brainstormed ideas for the mural design.  “We wanted to represent the beautiful ecology surrounding us here in Sonoma County, and create an awareness of the need to be good environmental stewards,” said Vorhaus.

Over the summer, Grant families collected bottle tops and brought in more than 10,000 when school started in August.  Kindergarten, first and second grades did a fantastic job sorting all those caps by color.  Then third and fourth grades painted the background illustrations, and finally, fifth and sixth grades drilled the caps into the wood using screws generously donated by Friedman’s.  There are 6 panels in total, hanging on campus walls.

Mural1Mural2Mural3

West County Community Seed Exchange-Saturday April 25th

West County Community Seed Exchange

Monthly Gathering!

Saturday April 25th

St Stephen’s Church   500 Robinson Road, Sebastopol

   9:00 – 10:30 – Join the work party in the Seed Garden( optional!)

   9:00 – 11:00 – Seed Library OPEN- drop in anytime between these hours to check out the hundreds of varieties of  locally grown seeds!

  11:00-12:00 Free Workshop- Growing Backyard Grains

Veteran gardener Liz Brown will share her experience  and knowledge about growing and processing a variety of grains in her west county garden.

www.westcountyseedbank.blogspot.com

Pumpkin and Sunflower Growing Contest at the National Heirloom Exposition.

Hello Everyone,

This year we are excited to announce the addition of a Pumpkin and Sunflower Growing Contest at the National Heirloom Exposition. It is being held in conjunction with the Men’s Garden Club of Santa Rosa. The event is for children between the ages of 4 – 16.  Details outlining the details of this contest here  PumpkinContest2015-2 Also, attached is a copy of the growing instructions for the pumpkins and sunflowers.Pumpkin and Sunflower Contest Growing Instructions The free seeds are now available at the Seed Bank and once we receive your completed forms they are yours to take. In each packet of seeds there are 6 varieties of sunflowers and 3 varieties of pumpkins. To add to the fun these varieties are not named so the results will be a surprise! Entries are being accepted from children, aged 4 – 16. Classes may also participate as a group, provided children in those classes are within that age range. For any questions please feel free to call me at the number below.

Please note a change of day and time for the “Educational and Fun Day” at the Heirloom Expo: it will be held this year on Thursday, September 10th, with the gates opening at 9:00 am. In the past a great challenge for us has been the crowds at the arrival gate. This year we will have additional manpower and 4 roped off areas leading to the gates. We are also considering staggering the arrival time of school groups.Please give your feedback in this regard. As the “Expo” has become busier and busier on our Educational and Fun Day this is a challenge that we are determined to overcome! We want to make your “Expo” experience a 100% positive one!

For those of you who will have a display in our School Garden Display Area in the Hall of Flowers I have attached a School Exhibitor Form for completion and early return. We had a wonderful turnout in exhibits last year and I look forward to this year’s exhibits.2015-New School-Exhibitor-Form

Sincerely,
Eileen Wallace
School Garden Display Area/Educational and Fun Day Coordinator
The National Heirloom Exposition

199 Petaluma Blvd. North
Petaluma, CA 94952web

TheHeirloomExpo.com

Invitation for School Gardens to Join Farm Trail’s Spring Tour

The School Garden Network has  joined  Farm Trails!

School garden programs have been invited to join their upcoming spring tour Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies. We hope that some of you will be inspired to join the tour this year. Get creative and think about activities that would attract the public- perhaps a plant sale and smoothies; student let garden tours and scavenger hunts or a workshop on compost. Since it is the first year we are participating it is hard to know how many folks might visit. Public must  rsvp to receive the map so you will get some idea ahead of time. Please read the following details from Farm Trails and get your application by March 31st if you do want to participate. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Best,

Laurel Anderson <beanblossom61@gmail.com>

Invitation to Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies 2015

After a four year hiatus this May 2nd and 3rd we are again producing our popular historic Spring Tour. We invite you to open your gates and barnyard doors to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at Sonoma County’s finest food and agriculture. Known these days as “agritourism,” this is a great opportunity to connect directly with the public, promote and grow your business, attract new customers, and increase on-site sales. We’ll publicize the event and guide folks to your farms & businesses throughout the county- from Petaluma to Cloverdale and from Sonoma to Valley Ford through our new online map feature specific for this event. See details below and return your B4 2015 Application by March 31st or to our office at farmtrails@farmtrails.org. We will notify you within a few days after your application submission of your acceptance to participate. We hope you’ll join us! The more members who participate, the more robust and compelling the trails will be…

 

  • We ask that you provide unique offering(s) not typically available during your regular business hours- a tour, tasting, special product, demonstration, class, hike, performance, exhibit, game, sale, farm band, u-pick, animal interaction, etc.
  • You may wish to collaborate with other Farm Trails members, by either hosting them at your site if you have an appropriate facility or by setting up at someone else’s. For instance, a mobile food truck might be a great addition for the picnic area next to your flower farm. Or perhaps a winery would like to pair with one of our amazing cheese makers. Let us know, and we can help facilitate these partnerships.
  • You must be open for visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 2nd and/or from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 3rd. You may opt to participate one day or both.
  • B4 will be free to the public, but we will ask that folks RSVP via Brown Paper Tickets in order to receive the map and tour details. This way, we can have some general sense of attendance.
  •  We encourage you to sell your products and have staff available to answer questions.

 

  • You may charge for certain activities, but you must let us know details in advance so we can properly inform the public.

 

  • As part of the Small Scale Agricultural Ordinance, the Board of Supervisors recently endorsed official Sonoma County Farm Trails events, so you will not need to obtain any special event permits to participate.

Farm Trails will promote the tour far and wide in an effort to bring the public to your farms/businesses. Of course, we can’t guarantee a specific turnout, but we will keep you posted on the RSVP rate and public response.

 

 

LIVING WILLOW STRUCTURES IN LEARNING LANDSCAPES MARCH 14TH 2015, 10 – 4 PM

Salmon Creek School  presents

LIVING WILLOW STRUCTURES IN

LEARNING LANDSCAPES

MARCH 14TH 2015, 10 – 4 PM

Come learn how to build living willow structures and take your backyard or green schoolyard to the next level! In this day-long workshop, you will learn all of the principles and methods needed to make a living arch and tunnel. We will discuss harvesting techniques & strategies; design & siting, and long-term care & maintenance. Participants will leave with an expanded vision of the sculptural, educational and ecological possibilities inherent in this abundant native material.

This workshop will be led by Josho Somine; ecological designer, sculptor, builder and teacher from the Bay Area. He started working with willow and school gardens in 2000 and has done installations and workshops in diverse sites and communities across the country ever since.

Cost: $30 / participant

To Register: 1). Email kramsden@harmony.k12.ca.us with your name, contact information and school association ifapplicable. 2). Send your check to the address above, payable to HUSD (Harmony Union School Distict)

Located at Salmon Creek School: 1935 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental, CA

Space is limited. Register Now!

Veggie plants at Ceres Garden have all been taken

Veggie plants at Ceres Garden  have all been taken. More too come!

Join in the Fun at Ag Days at the County Fairground!

Join Sonoma County Farm Bureau in celebrating Sonoma County’s number one industry by attending the Ag Days Events at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds Tuesday, March 17th and Wednesday, March 18th. Schools are encouraged to arrange field trips, but you must register by this Friday, March 6th! Every class completing a registration form will be guaranteed a visit to Ag Days on the date selected. Click here for more information.