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Farm Market guide, compleat Vol. 1

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refreshing refreshing

alkalizing alkalizing naturally naturallyengergizing energizing boosts boosts metabolism metabolism

promotes promotes healthy healthy digestion digestion


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Please bring our bottles back. Enjoy. Return. Repeat. We miss them. To take full ownership of our To take full ownership of our product and its packaging product its packaging from startand to finish, we need from start to finish, we need our bottles back! our bottles back! Play your vital part in the Play your vital of part in the great circle 窶話uch. great circle of 窶話uch. Enjoy. Return. Repeat. Enjoy. Recycle. Repeat.


The Best of Sonoma, in season and on your plate Local, organic products responsibly harvested by local ranchers, farmers, and fishermen, selected in season at the peak of flavor. Prepared respectfully with the influences of the many cultures that stirred the melting pot that created Sonoma cuisine. 9900 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood | 707.833.6326 |

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210 Western Ave. Petaluma, CA 94952 (707) 762-5464

According to a new study conducted in the UK and just published by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, an apple a day ain’t nothing when it comes to keeping the doctor away. Rather, the study found over an eight year period that participants who consumed seven servings of vegetables daily had a mortality rate that raged at 42 percent less than those who did not eat seven servings. Forty two percent. A “serving” in this study was codified as three ounces, and fruit consumption didn’t seem to affect the mean at all. But the findings are resonantly clear: Want to live a long and happy life? Eat your—and more—veggies. Ensuring that Sonoma County residents get their vegetables (and fruit!) is at the heart of the Sonoma County Food Action Plan, upon which this magazine is based. What’s wonderful and amazing and absolutely true is that many organizations in our area are devoted not only to providing the Daily Seven Servings, they are doing it for free. WHOA and Bayer farms, for example, both raise food with the explicit purpose of giving it away. As always, when compiling the stories for Made Local Magazine, we find threads and stories that bring their own thematics to the issue. This time, it turned out to be in service of the healthy and the free. The healthy and the free. Kind of sounds like a slogan, doesn’t it? We’re not generally fans of the pat soundbite, but this one resonates. PHOTOS: MICHAEL B. WOOLSEY

Here’s to Sonoma County, land of the healthy and free!

Gretchen Giles EDI T OR

Terry Garrett P UBL ISHER

vol. 1, issue 3 | M AY/J UN 2 0 14 | M A D E L O C A L . C O O P


Local, Cleaner Energy Now You’re Cooking. Until recently, you didn’t have a choice about the energy that powers your home. Now you do. With Sonoma Clean Power, you get cleaner energy from local renewable sources like solar, wind and geothermal, competitive prices, and lower greenhouse gases.

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A soundbite we can love.

The silver side of the Rancho debacle.

10 EAT

Jiggety-Jig: Farm Market season is upon us.


Climbing the Walls at growUp Farm.



WHOA Farm: The best food that money can’t buy.

Sonoma County GO LOCAL Cooperative 555 Fifth St., Suite 300N Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Beyond Organic: Demeter and the plus-plus-plus.



Bayer Farm teaches from the ground up.


Made Local Magazine is a free product of Sustaining Technologies, LLC, publisher for Sonoma County GO LOCAL Cooperative. 12,000 copies produced bimonthly. Limit one free copy per person. Copyright 2014, Sustaining Technologies, LLC. Reproduction of the content in whole or part of this magazine requires written permission by the publisher.

Rats! (You probably have them.)


Support the Food Action Plan.

From Bad to Good The scandal at Rancho Feeding Corp., the North Bay’s only USDA slaughterhouse, made national headlines earlier this year as some 9 million pounds of recalled beef circulated all over North America, even ending up in Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Hot Pocket. This was particularly shocking for a region that prides itself as we do on pure, humane, and locally produced ingredients. Our food community woke up to how even the bestintentioned farmers and ranchers are beholden to larger, more complex, and often fragile systems. After the USDA issued and then expanded its recall on all meats processed at Rancho Feeding Corp., the decades-old slaughterhouse voluntarily shut its doors as investigations ensued. Much of Rancho’s business relied upon the slaughter of retired dairy cows from all over the state, leaving specific time slots open to smaller-scale local producers of beef and pork, many of whom make up the myriad of our region’s specialty meats: grass-fed, animal welfare-approved, rotationally-grazed, heirloom breeds, etc. But when suspicions arose about the health of certain livestock (cancer of the eye, inspection officials now claim), even the most conscientious of our ranchers felt the blow, let alone the burden of having to explain themselves to loyal customers. 8

Marin County ranching pioneer Bill Niman was stuck with nearly a half a million dollars’ worth of meat he can’t sell and still isn’t sure if he can remain in business. And his outfit is only one of many. With Rancho closed, the only option left to many ranchers was trucking their livestock over 150 miles to the next closest USDA facility, jeopardizing those with hard-won Animal Welfare Approval, a label that seeks to curb excessive transport. In the following weeks, local meat producer and purveyor David Evans of Marin Sun Farms stepped up with a bid to buy the processing facility, vowing to re-open as soon as possible while continuing to offer services for local ranchers of not only beef and pork, but also sheep and goats in the future. His facility opened April 7. In the meantime, questions of food security abound for consumers, even for those patrons of farmers’ markets who take extra steps to befriend their local rancher. But the same questions of security lie also with producers. The economic repercussions of the shutdown threatened to put many family farms—already suffering from historic drought and this winter’s vicious frost—out of business. In the days after the recall, ranchers began reaching out not only to regulators and policy-makers, but to each other. At feed stores and on email threads,

ranchers from Marin to Mendocino called for action, sharing updates amongst themselves. Some even contemplated publicity stunts involving a dozen livestock trailers at rush hour with the hope of calling more attention to the issue. While no stunts unfolded and no coalitions formed in the wake of Rancho’s closure, new channels of dialogue did open up. However isolated a thousand acres of rangeland might be, many of these ranchers were reminded that they’re all in this together. Hopes are high for the new ownership of Rancho, but we at the Farmers Guild hope that the dialogue spurred by the crisis remains open even in times of relative comfort. The burgeoning local food movement proclaims, “Know your farmer!” We hope that this spirit extends to everyone: That farmers reach out to fellow farmers, ranchers to their local processor, regulators to young upstarts building their first herd of cattle. To assure the quality and health of our food, ourselves and our animals, it’s time for our farmers and ranchers to open up, band together, and stay connected.

—Evan Wiig, the Farmers Guild Article resources:

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SUCH BOUNTY! ’Tis the Season: Your Sonoma County Farmers’ Market Guide Farmers’ Markets are parties, of a sort. When residents of one small section of the county gather at a specific time and place, week after week, to support each other, swap recipes and gossip, keep an eye on each other’s wilding children, and pick up fresh staples for the kitchen or garden, a party is bound to break out.

Over in Sebastopol on this same day, a Grateful Dead cover band noodles its way unsteadily through some classics while an ad hoc petting zoo beckons with bunnies and baby goats, Jehovah Witnesses work to convert atheists, some Goddess statues lie unattended in the grass, and West County friends and neighbors meet each other over Indian samosas, Bodega Bay fish, bearded iris plants, and small blue chicken eggs. It feels like a party, but it’s just another Sunday market.

With our national primacy in food production, it’s natural that Sonoma County have a robust farmers’ market scene, and robust it is, with nearly every town having at least one weekly market during the warm growing season.


Each market has its own personality, as well. Sometimes it purely reflects the host community; sometimes it’s lent by the market manager’s own style; sometimes it’s wholly dependent on the time of day the market is held. Morning markets tend towards the busy work of a koffee klatch; evening markets, towards the lazy sprawl of a picnic.

Many towns have more than one, entities separate from each other that bespeak feuds and misunderstandings—the whole Peyton Place. But such subterranean simmer is of no consequence to the market-goer. What matters is meeting your

farmer, supporting your farmer, and bringing home fresh food grown here to consume here. Nearly all of our markets are “certified,” which means that the seller has undergone government checks to ensure that her produce is really from her and not craftily purchased last week at Walmart. You’ll see the certificate hanging in her stall. Similarly, a producer who claims to purvey organic foodstuffs must show proof of his organic certification. A recent change to farm market rules now stipulates that prepared food vendors, crafters, and other non-farmers be grouped together separate from the certified sellers. What does all of this mean to you? Not much, except that you were snuffling peacefully in your bed while your farmer got up at 4am, picked a truck’s worth of fresh stuff in the dark, and drove sometimes hours to ensure that you have your choice of the best local food. Heroic? Perhaps. A golden resource that enriches your life and vitality immeasurably? Absolutely. Herewith, our round-up of this season’s Sonoma County farmers’ markets.

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t’s a two man-skirt morning at the West End Farmers’ Market and everyone is feeling fine. One leg-proud man is actually sporting a Utilikilt, but the other is just clad in a regular old woman’s wrap. Fresh omelets are being served on china plates with flatware to patrons in the shade of an EZ Up while toddlers are feeling the first warm grass of the season under their feet. Soap, jewelry, knitware, and Ghanan baskets can be purchased along with green garlic, orange beets, Meyer lemons, and other produce. The cookies are huge and gluten-free, the soup stock is fresh and bagged to-go, and the French fries are slathered in schmaltz. It feels like a party, but it’s just another Sunday market.


Bodega Bay Community Farmers’ Market At the Children’s Bell Tower, established in the memory of Nicholas Green. This year’s market features plenty of live music, kicking off on May 25 with the “cowboy disco” of Whiskey and Circumstance. 2255 Highway 1, Bodega Bay. Sundays, May 25–Oct. 26, 10am to 1pm.

Cotati Farmers’ Market Held where everything legal takes place in Cotati: La Plaza Park, at the corner of Old Redwood Highway and West Sierra Avenue. Currently run by the city but poised to be taken over by the Community Markets group who skillfully run many of our markets. Thursdays, June 5-Aug.28, 4:30pm to 7:30pm. Accepts EBT. Forestville Farmers’ Market Now at Corks Restaurant and the Russian River Vineyards. 5700 Highway 116 N., Forestville. Tuesdays, May 6–Oct. 28, 3pm to 7pm.

Healdsburg Farmers’ Markets The Healdsburg market is one of the county’s granddaddy gatherings. The Saturday morning event in particular is a great place to watch chefs in their whites pretend to pick up a full nights’ service worth of food with just one small basket. Saturdays, May 3-Nov. 29, 9am to noon. North and Vine streets. Wednesdays, June 5-Oct. 30, 3:30pm to 6pm. Purity/Cerri lot on North Street between Grove and Foss streets. Accepts WIC and EBT. Oakmont Farmers’ Market A sweet and small affair. In the Wells Fargo Bank parking lot at Oakmont and White Oak drives. Saturdays, year-round, 9am to noon. Accepts WIC and EBT, but the market manager admits that no one’s ever asked.

Cloverdale Certified Farmers’ Market Held in conjunction with that town’s wildly popular and really most excellent Friday Night Live slate of free music. Cloverdale Boulevard, between First and Second streets, near the Plaza, Cloverdale. Fridays, May 30-Aug. 29, 5:30pm to dusk. Accepts WIC and EBT.

Kenwood Community Farmers’ Market The Glen Ellen market moves this year to Kenwood Plaza Park. 200 Warm Springs Road, between Channing Row and Park Row, Kenwood. Sundays, June 1-Sept. 14, from noon to 4pm. Accepts WIC and EBT.

Guerneville Farmers’ Market In the heart of our newest Gourmet Ghetto and held in the Sonoma Nesting Company parking lot adjacent to the town Plaza. 16201 First St., Guerneville. Thursdays, May 1-Sept. 25, 3pm to 7pm.

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Occidental Bohemian Farmers’ Market Get your freak on with the West County’s coolest evening gathering. Main and Second streets, Occidental. Fridays, June 6- Oct. 31, 4pm to dusk. Accepts WIC. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13


Petaluma Pie Company

Bistro 29

125 Petaluma Boulevard N., Petaluma

620 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa | 7MMM-PIE | 546.2929

A farm-to-table bakery café specializing

Traditional French bistro fare featuring

in sweet and savory pies made with

fresh buckwheat crepes, sweet

local and organic ingredients.

crepes, and a full bistro menu.

Seared Steak and Seafood

170 Petaluma Boulevard N., Petaluma | 762.5997 Serving the freshest local ingredients

Gaia’s Garden

Oyster Bar • Sustainable Seafood • Grass-

1899 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa

Fed Beef • Local Draughts, | 544.2491

Wines & Spirits

Voted the Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Sonoma County for the last 3 years! Come and enjoy food, music, and art in a tranquil setting.

Russian River Brewing Cº. 725 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa | 545.2337 Home of the world-famous Pliny the

Stout Brothers Irish Pub & Restaurant

Younger beer, Russian River Brewing

527 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa

offers a full menu, fantastic pizza, | 636.0240

and live music.

This downtown Santa Rosa’s authentic Irish pub has a full bar with live music and offers a traditional Irish menu and much more.


Petaluma East Side Farmers’ Market Held rain or shine on the grounds of the community center at Lucchesi Park. 320 N. McDowell Ave., Petaluma. Tuesdays, year-round, 10am to 1:30pm. Accepts EBT.

Rohnert Park Farmers’ Market Finish your week with community! 500 City Center Drive (in the library parking lot), Rohnert Park. Fridays, June 6-Aug. 29, 5pm to 8pm. Accepts WIC and EBT.

Farmers’ Market Under the trees with nearly as many crafters as food vendors. Walnut Park, Corner of D Street and Petaluma Boulevard South, Petaluma. Saturdays, May 17- Nov. 22, 2pm to 5:30pm. Theatre District, on Second Street. Wednesdays, June 4-Aug. 13, 4:30pm to 8pm. Accepts WIC and EBT.

Santa Rosa Original Certified Market Plenty of parking, in a relatively new location. If the vendor you used to patronize at the Veteran’s Building is no longer there, chances are you’ll find them here. 50 Mark West Springs Road, on the south east side of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa. Wednesdays, year-round, 8:30am to noon. Saturdays, year-round, 8:30am to 1pm. Accepts WIC and EBT.

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Certified Farmers’ Market 1450 Guerneville Road, adjacent to the WIC office, Santa Rosa. Thursdays, July 3-Sept. 25, 9am to 1pm. Accepts WIC, naturally. Community Market Was Santa Rosa Certified, was Redwood Empire, now is just Community Market. “We could do a reality show about this!” chuckles the market manager. 1351 Maple Ave., in the Veterans Memorial Building parking lot, Santa Rosa. Wednesdays, year-round, 9am to 1pm. Saturdays, year-round, 8am to 1pm. Accepts WIC and EBT.



*Sugar in a 20-oz soda. Calculations based on a 3 gram sugar packet.

This initiative supports the Sonoma County Food Action Plan. Check out the website to pledge your support for a healthy and viable food system in Sonoma County

Drinking even one sugary drink a day may lead to obesity and diabetes.

Made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Community Transformation Grant.


Wednesday Night Market Santa Rosa’s summertime street party with plenty of live music and barbecue as well as vendors. Plus: wine garden. Now in its 26th year. Downtown Santa Rosa, between Fourth and E streets. Wednesdays, May 7–Aug. 20, 5pm to 8:30pm. Plans to accept WIC and EBT this season. West End Farmers’ Market The newest of the county’s markets held across from the historic De Turk Round Barn, which is sometimes open for visitors to wander around and gawk in wonder at the life that the horse it was built for must have lived. Directive That Didn’t Exist in English Three Years Ago: Post a selfie while at the market and receive $1 off your purchases. 817 Donahue Street, Santa Rosa. Sundays, 10am-2pm through Dec. 14. Accepts WIC and EBT.

Sebastopol Farmers’ Market Lots of prepared food, political information, Goddess wear, and naked toddlers in the fountain add to its appeal. Sebastopol Plaza, Weeks Way and Petaluma Street, Sebastopol. Sundays, year-round, 10am to 1:30pm. Accepts WIC and EBT. Sonoma Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers’ Market One of the county’s oldest and best-beloved markets. In Arnold Field, First Street West, Sonoma. Fridays, year-round, 9am to 12:30pm. Accepts WIC and EBT. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

Nothing but the best, naturally.

Fresh Produce & Natural Foods 1691 Gravenstein Hwy. North, Sebastopol




Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers’ Market Plan to picnic on the Plaza with your goodies. Sonoma Town Plaza, 2 E. Napa Street, Sonoma. Tuesdays, May 6-Oct. 28, 5:30pm to dusk. Accepts EBT. Windsor Certified Farmers’ Markets A party parading as a market. On the Windsor Town Green, Market Street, Windsor. Sundays through December, 10am to 1pm. Thursdays, June 5-Aug. 28, 5pm to 8pm. Accepts WIC.


550 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol • 823-4916 1465 Town & Country Drive, Santa Rosa • 546-FOOD

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hile fields all around are yellow with wild mustard, the colors on this farm range from red to blue and the spectrum in between. While outdoor growers have experienced historic drought, this place burbles with water. And while local producers have battled frost all winter long, this farmstead keeps at an even temperature. That’s because the indoor agriculture of growUp Farms doesn’t need sunlight or rain or even soil to produce its food. It just needs water, LED lights, and walls. Oh, and electricity. Practicing a new method known as vertical hydroponic farming, growUp Farms is a one-yearold startup company devoted to solving the world’s food problems

in an entirely transparent manner using little more than running water, special lighting, plenty of geometry, and a modest application of new technology.

why we were there and what we wanted to do with that degree. I said I want to be a CEO of a vertical farm in California. “And,” he says gravely, “now I am.”

CEO and founder Ryan Calbreath, 32, decided to create growUp Farms even before he entered Dominican University’s prestigious Green MBA program three years ago. A restless worker with an undergraduate degree in business who felt stuck in his job, Calbreath read Dr. Dickson Despommier’s 2011 book, The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century and suddenly his life made sense.

A professor emeritus at Columbia University medical school, Despommier’s vertical farming concept sprung from coursework assigned to his Medical Ecology classes. Seeing humans as coexisting with—not living apart from—other animals on the Earth, Despommier’s philosophy is straightforward: “It’s not enough to eat organic veggies and a freshlycaught brook trout if the rest of the planet is still entrenched in using poorly-designed systems that despoil nature and run high human health risks,” he writes.

“As soon as I finished reading the book, I started working on a business plan,” Calbreath says. “I remember on the first day of grad school, in the first class, we had to go around and say

“As far as I know, this is our only world, and we only get one shot

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at using it right. Vertical farming offers a way to integrate many of our most harmful systems—e.g. factory farming, municipal waste management, etc.—in a way that actually produces a positive effect on the health of us and our planet.” Calbreath calls this “responsible growing,” and its ethos is the basis for the startup. “We’re going for a ‘beyond organic’ kind of thing,” he says, “not just being organic but also taking into consideration the social and environmental issues.” To that end, he has designed a labeling system that not only notes the calories inherent in his produce, it also shows the location of the farm; the amount of water used to grow it; the planting, harvest, and delivery dates; kilowatts used; and the exact name and quantity of any nutrients added.

The kind of guy who can’t bear to spend $100 on dinner when there are so many starving people in the world, Calbreath worries that healthy and safe food is neither affordable nor available to those who need it most. “Our long-term goal,” he says, “is to go into third world countries and serve people on the bottom of the planet.” But his overarching aim is to create a method of food production that can be done indoors for very little money and with no pesticides, will produce an astounding yield, and can serve urban consumers who live in few city blocks away from the farm. All that’s needed is a cheap lease on a warehouse space, running water and electricity, a modicum of tubing, and a farm can be in business. “Nowadays

a lot of our food sits on a truck for three weeks before we eat it,” he says. “I’d rather eat food that was picked just days ago.” growUp Farms is not the only vertical hydroponic effort around. The Plant in Chicago not only uses hydroponics to grow food, but aquaponics to grow fish; their waste-water is filtered to nourish the produce. Mushrooms are also on their slate. Plantagon in Sweden is another. That vertical farm utilizes a system of rotating cultivation boxes that move from floor to ceiling during the day for maximum natural light exposure. But growUp may be the first to have a turnkey plan that anyone can utilize easily and relatively cheaply to start indoor farming in their own neighborhood. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22

Fair Trade Your Garden

Kindred Handcrafts 605 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 707-579-1459 Store Hours: Monday - Sat 10:30 - 6 Sunday 12 - 5 vol. 1, issue 3 | M AY/J UN 2 0 14 | M A D E L O C A L . C O O P





s the name implies, vertical farming goes up, not across. growUp’s system is based on a hexagonal construct using PCB towers that snake towards the ceiling with strategically cut holes into which plants can be placed and from which they can be easily moved. Working with his brother Thomas Miller, who is the team’s hydroponics expert, Calbreath has had good luck with all of those late-summer crops. The two are still experimenting with tubers and root vegetables; strawberries have proven to be typically finicky. But Miller recently made an apricot tree come into bloom with just water and the brothers are optimistic that they’ll get better at coaxing nature into conforming with the somewhat unnatural as time goes along. Because they are growing plants that require pollination, Calbreath intends to hire an apiarist to bring a hive into the warehouse and let the 3,000 or so insects inside have free range. “The bees ideally would only be released when nobody’s really around,” he says somewhat nonchalantly. Calbreath estimates that the yield from a single flat acre of tomatoes planted traditionally might contain 4,500 plants that could produce 35,000 pounds of food. An “acre” of wall space using growUp’s 10-foot-tall towers similarly planted could accommodate 22,500 plants and produce 180,000 pounds of tomatoes. And, that doesn’t take water into account. growUp currently uses a single 55-gallon drum of water each week for one tower loaded with about 60 plants— the liquid equivalent of a moseying adult taking five morning showers. Organic nutrients are added at strategic stages to boost flavor and growth. But what really sets growUp apart from other hydroponic growers is the company’s use of LED lighting instead of and sometimes in addition to fluorescents. “The LEDs are the most efficient energy-wise, but people are still arguing whether or not they 22

can grow plants efficiently,” Calbreath says. “Part of our work has been to test LED lights. We’re finding that they grow plants phenomenally.” Of course, one can’t discuss hydroponic growing in Northern California without touching upon cannabis. “Ninety percent of the time, when someone asks us what we do and we say we grow fruits and vegetables hydroponically, they say, ‘Oh, you’re in pot,’” Calbreath says with a comic groan. “So yes, it’s a stigma, but it’s changing.” Miller was diffidently employed before coming to work with his brother and knew nothing about hydroponics or plants before starting. His skill has come from hands-on experimenting, reading plenty of books, and, Calbreath acknowledges, “watching YouTube videos of weed farmers. Those guys are super knowledgeable,” he laughs. “Really, they’re some of the smartest, most knowledgeable guys in the hydroponics field.” Miller has learned well. “I now refer to him as our ‘hydroponics expert,’” Calbreath says, “because honestly, I challenge anybody in the field to ask him a question about hydroponics that he doesn’t know. He’s really developed a passion for it.” Calbreath’s plan to place growUp Farms in urban areas throughout the U.S. is a sophisticated and ambitious goal, and he admits that investors mostly want to know about obtaining a miniversion of his system that they can use at home. That’s not going to happen. “I see it as another consumer product that’s going be purchased, used a couple of times, and then end up in the garage,” Calbreath says firmly. “I’m all for people growing their own food, but we’re looking at the bigger picture, honestly, and retail models like that are not going to solve the problems that we’re interested in solving.” Article resources:

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We invite you to discover our Italian-inspired cafe and restaurant set in the heart of the West Sonoma County’s Wine Country. Enjoy our candlelit paao dining with a glass from our small produccon wine list and sample our personal passion: cuisine that you will want to linger over.

OPEN DAILY FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER. We are just up the hill from downtown Sebastopol, on the corner of Florence Avenue. 7385 Healdsburg Ave. Sebastopol CA • 707-829-1077 •


WINE INTO WHEAT WHOA Farms makes wine in order to give food away


Wendy Mardigian Eddie Gelsman


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ccording to Sonoma County’s strangely riveting official document, “Obesity Prevention Plan, 20102013,” a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet consisting of calorie-dense foods costs the local consumer $3.52. The average American eats a range of foods at that calorie level costing roughly $7 a day. But the price of a diet providing the same amount of daily energy but composed solely of low-calorie, high-nutrient foods? $36.32. A day. Something’s got to give. With an estimated 40 percent of Sonoma County adolescents now categorized as obese, food cost and health education have never been more important. Smack amid our bucolic rural paradise, where some of the best food in the United States is grown, our youngest community has never been less well-fed. Blame fast food, blame the economy, blame the 1 percent—cast blame all around. It won’t do any good. Action is the only answer. At least that’s how Eddie Gelsman and his wife Wendy Mardigian see it. And they have certainly put their money where our mouths are. Gelsman and Mardigian own and operate WHOA Farm, a 501c3 nonprofit whose motto is, “The Best Food Money Can’t Buy!” You can’t buy it, because they give it away. Last year, they gave away 40,000 pounds of produce and 12,000 dozen chicken eggs at an estimated cost of $150,000. They employ five full time employees at WHOA, including a couple who live on the Petaluma Hill Road property with their toddler daughter and work the kinds of hours that farmers always have—that is, all the time. Gelsman is a successful rare wine broker who co-owns Petaluma’s Wine Library with his brother

Carl. Mardigian was a stay-athome mom of their two young sons who started a terraced vegetable garden on their home property as a “hobby,” she says, to keep busy when the boys were little. Turns out, she grew more than just food; her hobby launched a new branch of philanthropy in the family. “We were growing vegetables and fruits and realized that we had an abundance that we couldn’t possibly eat ourselves,” Mardigian says, standing on one of WHOA’s five-acre lots on a brilliant early spring day. “The ‘aha’ moment for us was when we realized that there are agencies—Redwood Empire Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul— that would take the food. I realized how easy it was to do that. To just give it away! We had too many tomatoes, too much zucchini. We realized that Sonoma County is a place where it’s really easy to help, where we can lend a hand with food. It just awakened us to this other level of community service going on and the institutions that were already built and ready to take it. They facilitated for us this idea of giving the food away.” WHOA’s current beneficiaries are the Santa Rosa Health Center, the Forestville Wellness Center, the Ceres Project, and the St. Vincent de Paul dining room. The couple deliver the produce themselves each day during the growing season, taking pride in harvesting food in the morning that will be eaten that night. WHOA Farm consists of 16 acres of vegetables and hay, 11 acres of Pinot Noir grapes leased from the Crane family—whose melon barn is in the middle of the spread—and an additional 800 acres across the street waiting to someday be planted. WHOA is no longer a dream, it’s a full-on operation. A damned expensive one.

After five years of funding the whole nonprofit themselves, Gelsman and Mardigian are avidly awaiting the release of their 2012 WHOA Farm Pinot Noir. Guy Davis of Davis Family Vineyards has volunteered to be their wine-maker and the couple anticipates that 600 cases will be ready for sale this fall. “One of the other big things that we realized early on, and what we’re in many ways trying to be a model for, is to be able to pay for something like this in a non-farming way,” Gelsman says. “We turned to what we know best, which is wine sales.” Tentatively priced between $35$40 a bottle, sales of WHOA Farm Pinot might, just maybe, provide half of the farm’s operating costs. “If our projections are right, it might even cover more than that,” Gelsman says, “because we can certainly increase our production as time allows. This is about everybody’s opportunity, not only in Sonoma County, to support what we’re doing by buying the wine, but all over the state of California and the United States, as well as internationally. Napa may be the Big Brother, but Sonoma County is right there behind it in terms of international recognition and right there behind it, certainly, in terms of need. “So,” he continues, “that is the reason that we went to wine. It’s what I’ve been doing for 20-plus years. There are a lot of people who want to step forward and help us do something about it. We’re going to give this a life of its own.” The farm’s acronym stands for Work Horse Organic Agriculture, and indeed, Gelsman and Mardigian employ two Haflinger draft horses to plow their fields as part of their focus on sustainable farming. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

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“WHOA, by its name, implies slowing down,” Gelsman explains. “To slow down, we use fundamental aspects of farming that maybe are not the most effective time-wise, but rather, treat the land and environment with what it needs at this time. Horses are a wonderful part of that. It’s a wonderful cycle of using them efficiently without expending any fossil fuel.” Gelsman and Mardigian are

optimistic that they will be able to interest other deep-pocketed folks in helping to support the farm. “Nothing’s really aggressive around here,” Gelsman smiles, “but we are more aggressively going out into the community, finding out what donor money might be available, utilizing the skills that we have among our group of friends. The idea is to get this to be selfsupporting, whether that comes from grants or from endowments.”

And they’re positive that the wine will be a hit. “This is not a gigantic big fruit bomb,” Gelsman says of the barrels he’s tasted. “I basically make a living selling European wines here in the U.S. This is more of a Burgundian style, it has a lot of finesse, it’s very elegant, and it’s an easy drinking wine.” Wine sales will be from the WHOA Farm website, a few CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

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select retailers, and some area restaurants. While 100 percent of the online proceeds will benefit WHOA, Gelsman says that retailers and restaurateurs have agreed to take a lesser mark-up to support the nonprofit’s efforts. There are lots of problems in the world and at home, but not everyone purchases land, hires employees, grows food simply with the intention of donating it, and makes wine to try to pay for it. Why WHOA? “I’m a product of the 1960s and ’70s,” Gelsman says. “My roots are based in Students for a Democratic Society, protesting wars in foreign places. I’ve fought a lot of battles in my lifetime, but was time for me to sink my teeth into one that was local, that was right here in our community, because the need

is so imminent. We have a gigantic juvenile diabetes rate, that’s a massive problem right now.” Mardigian adds, “That knowledge came to us at the same time we realized that it was possible to give this food away. We thought, ‘What is going on? This is a ridiculous epidemic!’”

one always likes to think of the goodness of the community spirit. Not everyone can write a check, but people can give of their time.” He glances at his wife. “We’re just two people, but we do believe that charity starts at home.”

Gelsman shakes his head. “For those of us who eat well every day, to think that this is just some sort of a problem that we can just turn our heads away from, well—it is happening and it’s getting worse. “Are we going to make this problem go away?” he asks rhetorically. “No. But can we contribute in some way, either big or small, to a positive outcome? We certainly can. Then, if somebody else can come and see what we’re doing and figure it out—it doesn’t have to be wine, it can be something else—

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Holistic Horticulture Enough about the cow horn already! Yes, there is a cow horn and yes, it is packed with fresh cow manure and buried in the ground on the Autumnal Equinox. Recovered on the Spring Equinox, the manure inside has transformed to clean, chocolate-smelling humus that is preferably hand-mixed with water and then sprayed on the fields. OK? That’s all that there is to the cow horn. (Except, of course, that it is re-packed on the Spring Equinox with crushed quartz and reburied to be dug up at the Fall Equinox, whereupon it is preferably hand-mixed with water and sprayed on the fields again, this time to facilitate photosynthesis.)

Got it? Great.


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ecause there is no purer truth that, when folks talk Biodynamic®, they invariably bring up the cow horn. Elizabeth Candelario, co-director of Demeter USA, the national certifying organization for Biodynamic farming, could probably grow a horn from her own head given the number of times she’s had to discuss the cow’s. “I always get asked about the cow horn,” she confirms with a smile, “and we always get stalled there.” She’s being asked about it again on this day due to her role at Demeter USA, because this countrywide organization has roots in Healdsburg, where Candelario lives and works. Turns out, it’s a messaging problem. “I have this analogy about yoga,” she says, “where, if I came to you and thought you could really benefit from doing yoga, and I said, ‘You’re going to do yoga, because it’s going to connect you to this higher spiritual plane,’ you might look at me and say, ‘You’re crazy. What are you talking about?’ and never do yoga. “But if I came to you and said, ‘You should do

yoga, because it’s really great exercise that will give you increased cardiovascular conditioning and greater flexibility,’ you might try it.” She pauses. “I think what’s happened, unfortunately, in the agricultural community over the years is that people who practice biodynamics might have tried to share their ‘yoga’ experience from a place where people didn’t quite have the context to understand it.” Of course, yoga was once seen as a fringe practice reserved for an enlightened few or those who came from cultures with a tradition of the practice. Now it seems, every other person on the street is sporting a pair of Lululemon pants. Perhaps, just maybe, Biodynamic farming could make your butt look great, too. First espoused by Rudolf Steiner, founder of the Waldorf School system, in a series of agricultural lectures to European farmers in 1924, Biodynamic growing is essentially an effort to close an ecological loop with the land. While farmers at the turn of the last century were certainly practicing what we today

would call “organic” farming, their yields were lowering alarmingly and their crops were less robust. In his lectures, Steiner outlined four principles of a new practice he called Biodynamics, and advised growers to come closer to the land and honor the moon. The late Biodynamic consultant Alan York explained its four principles in a 2008 Organic Wine Journal video (the cow horn bit is in Principle #3). “It’s a holistic system,” York said of Principle #4. “This is one of the main reasons why biodynamics seems so strange to people. A holistic view is on a focus on the interaction of all living things. In a holistic system, where the focus is really on the dynamic of the relationship, we are not directly doing anything to a specific thing but more, managing the environment. If we manage the environment for the maximum benefit of all living things, then we have an environment that is healthy.” Winemakers have embraced the practice, with Mike Benziger’s eponymous winery CONTINUED ON PAGE 33

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transitioning in 1995 to what he’s termed “peasant practice.” This is a good thing, as such monocultures as vineyards are the antithesis of Biodynamic philosophy. Candelario came to biodynamics through wine about a decade ago when Quivira Vineyards, where she was then marketing manager, made the change in some of its blocks with the release of its Steelhead Red, a label introduced to tell the story of the creek rehabilitation the winery had just completed. Alan York himself became Quivira’s consultant, spending three hours a week on the place. “He was the one who said, don’t stop at organic,” Candelario says, misting up at York’s recent death at age 62 this year from cancer. “You guys should be Biodynamic. But none of us really knew what that was.” Under York’s tutelage, Quivira made the transition, and Candelario was stunned by the results. “What happened over the course of five years was so transformative, not only to what we witnessed on the estate, but to what

a lot of the employees went through in terms of their own personal development,” she says. Today some 15 Sonoma County wineries are certified by Demeter USA, including Da Vero, DeLoach, and Porter Bass, and 80 are certified or working towards it throughout the country. Candelario became so enamored of the philosophy that, when Quivira’s owners retired and sold the place seven years ago, she fundraised the money for her own income when approaching Demeter USA about a job. Bringing six months’ worth of salary with her, Candelario assumed that she would be helping to market Demeter USA to more vintners. She was wrong. “I came to really understand that this was really a business development project,” she says, “because outside of wine, there were no Biodynamic products in the national marketplace.” According to Candelario, there are now “4,600 Biodynamic producers worldwide. You can get Biodynamic cheeses, baby food, cereal—a whole range of products.” But the U.S. has been slower to embrace the practice. Today, there are pastas

and sauce, jams and flour, and the Marin County-based Republic of Tea is certified. Because organic growing practices are a basis for Biodynamic farming, the two go hand-in-hand. But it’s not necessary to be certified organic in order to be certified Biodynamic. Biodynamic’s “woo-woo” stigma remains while organic is now featured at Walmart. Candelario envisions a future in which educated consumers opt for Biodynamic, causing producers to push past organic. “My dream is that, five years from now, all our producers who are maintaining both certifications will drop their organic,” she says, “because they’re going to know that the consumer knows that Biodynamic is organic plus-plus-plus.” Now that’s something to stick in a cow horn.

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t takes a while to find Jonathan Bravo, the coordinator of Bayer Farm, but really—what’s the hurry? This six-acre swathe of land in the unannexed Roseland section of Santa Rosa is a lovely place to wander around slightly lost. Even before spring’s official launch, it’s clear that the earth is warming to the season here. Lamb’s ear spreads out from the farm’s medicinal garden, a demonstration grape vine has set out leaves, young fruit trees are in flower, fava beans grow tall and green-gray, and California poppies make their natural gold in the native plants area. The farm is a welcome refuge from the apartment buildings and rental homes surrounding it, and the view of Taylor Mountain is superb. Not that it’s a disappointment to finally find Bravo, a courtly man of a certain age who exudes graciousness and excitement in even draughts. A former high school math teacher who relocated his wife, then an elementary school P.E. teacher, and their three teenaged daughters from their home about 75 miles north of Mexico City some four years ago, Bravo is glad to discuss what grows in the soil as well as in the soul at Bayer. A collaboration between the city of Santa Rosa and Bravo’s employer, the nonprofit group LandPaths, Bayer was purchased in 2007 as a park intended to serve a woefully-underserved population. While most of Santa Rosa has 4.4 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents, Roseland only has 2.7 acres per 1,000. Residents were polled on what to do with the land—build a pool, lay down a soccer field? The overwhelming answer: Give us a garden.


For the last four years, Bayer has evolved to fill that request. There are now 2.5 acres planted, with 40 garden plots for families to till as well as a robust ag program that serves students from kindergarten all the way through college. “Our mission is to educate people,” Bravo says. “LandPaths has an education department called In Our Own Backyard and they serve over 1,000 students from Sonoma County. They provide curriculum with different objectives and education. Part of that curriculum is to come and start seeds in the greenhouse, transplant or sow directly, for example, garlic and onions. We planted those with fifth graders. Fava beans with kindergartners and first graders. Sonoma State students do the teepee, the maze, and landscaping. We receive volunteers from the schools for their community service. We receive volunteers from different businesses and companies. We receive people from the court to complete their community service. Everyone comes here,” he chuckles with evident satisfaction. Every Friday evening, Bayer hosts a free potluck featuring food from its gardens as well as that brought by community members. “We harvest different leaves like chard and kale, as well as zucchinis, and we prepare salsas and tortillas,” he says. “If we have extra produce, we leave it out for people to take home.” Bravo estimates 60-100 people attend each week, and what really thrills him is the diversity of the gathering. “Latino, Anglo, sometimes Eritrean people bring flour and prepare their own bread and tortillas, they bring their own recipes and share,” he says. “People are very enthusiastic about taking part in this amazing place.”

In the summer, Bayer coordinates with the city to host the free lunch program for about 100 students each weekday. There is a derelict house on the property that is slated for demolition and plans to parkify the farm with a sports field, playground, and other traditional amenities. Graffiti is an occasional problem, but Bravo says that the farm has the best guardians of all: area residents. “Neighbors take care of this piece of property,” he says firmly. Bayer has 30 family plots facing its entrance on West Street and another 10 family plots at the back of the property. The back plots are larger, and originally only numbered seven. People, Bravo says, have voluntarily split their land. “They started to share with others,” he says. “This is very good. No one asked them to.” The waiting list for a personal plot is long, and residents who want to till one must attend four annual workshops and volunteer their time to be considered. But once they get a plot, they hang on to it. Again, the mix of backgrounds is robust. “This is a diverse community,” Bravo says of those who work the family plots. “We have people from Vietnam, Eritrea, China, from the Fiji Islands, some Israelis, native Hawaiians, Latino, and of course Anglo. It’s really interesting to have this diversity in our community.” Much of what folks want to grow stems from the tastes of their own childhoods, so in late summer, Bravo says that the land at Bayer becomes as diverse as its people, with produce native to East Asia, Africa, and the Southern Hemisphere mixing with the usual corn, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and greens popularly grown in the U.S. CONTINUED ON PAGE 36

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SOUL /SOIL Jonathan Bravo and Bayer Farm help to grow community


A former academic professional, Bravo is aiming to put himself out of a job—at Bayer Farm, at least. “Especially when the park is established, we will need leadership from our gardeners,” he says. “We are working now for leaders to be involved here, and we think that when our community is strong, that they could manage.” Among its many programs, LandPaths also runs Rancho Mark West, where their summer camp program is located, and is involved in the burgeoning Southeast Greenway project, in which two miles of Santa Rosa land from Farmer’s Lane to Spring Lake would be reclaimed for community use, including the advent of more family garden plots. Bravo’s current job, which he modestly describes as mostly

requiring him to agree to great ideas, is not necessarily one that he was trained for. “When I was a boy, I lived during the summer with my grandpa,” Bravo remembers. “He had a big property very close to the river, and every season he had different vegetables, produce, fish, fruit. Maybe I took some experiences from him. He was a very good guy at working with animals and the soil. He passed away and, for a long time, I never thought of farming. My dad was busy in business. He was an engineer making roads and houses. But here,” he smiles, “I love this.” Upon landing in the U.S. in 2010, Bravo initially taught GED certification in Spanish through the Santa Rosa Junior CONTINUED ON PAGE 38

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College, but felt restless. “We were looking for a place to work with the community,” he says of himself and his wife. “We were looking for where our place was. I learned to work in conservation, too, but when this position opened, I applied and got it.” His wife has retrained as a crisis intervention counselor and now heads up Bayer’s new Healthy Farming Initiative aimed at helping lower diabetes rates in the neighborhood and teaching good eating habits at no cost. “If you eat tomatoes, you will have good connections in your brain,” Bravo lists. “If you eat beets, your arterial pressure, your blood pressure, goes down.”


As Bravo leads the visitor on a tour of the farm, he stops at one spot beside an old barn. “This is our composting station,” he says. “It is a long process to have very good compost. Basically, the students are doing all processes here. It’s not a punishment for them to work the compost. They accept it. They come and work on different projects and different activities and really enjoy the garden.” He smiles broadly. “When I see students with dirty hands and soot on their faces, I know that they’re happy.” Article resources:

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COMMUNITY GARDEN NETWORK of SONOMA COUNTY INFO: CONTACT: 707.623.0239 FOUNDED: 2012 ACCEPTS DONATIONS? YES NEEDS VOLUNTEERS? YES ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET: $55,000 PRIMARY CLIENTS SERVED: All existing and potential community gardens in Sonoma County; special focus on neighborhoods with significant food access, organizational, financial or political challenges, or large number of lower income or Spanish-speaking households.

If your organization could accomplish just one thing in 2014, what would that be? NOMINATED BY


Strong community garden leaders emerging from our Leadership Skills Building courses who are helping improve their gardens as well as developing relationships with regional community gardens and others in their neighborhoods.

What trend or action have you seen in the past year within your field of work that is the most encouraging to your mission? Tremendous interest in new garden creation; lots of people looking for plots—see our online directory:

What other food-related Sonoma County nonprofit do you most admire and why?

Ceres Community Project. It is attracting people of all ages and backgrounds around the common bond of caring for each other and the earth.


If your organization could accomplish just one thing in 2014, what would that be? Funding and hiring a bilingual educator/facilitator. This would allow us to expand and formalize educational initiatives at Bounty, including 1) a field trip program to the Bounty Farm, 2) engage families receiving our services to take an active role in our gleaning program, and 3) broaden the curriculum offered for our youth job and leadership training on the farm.

What trend or action have you seen in the past year within your field of work that is the most encouraging to your mission?



The increased awareness of the amount of food waste in our food system. Thanks to the work of CropMobster and our partner gleaning organizations, there is a resurgence of interest and action to prevent food waste. For Petaluma Bounty, more volunteers= less food wasted and improved community access to healthy food!

What other food-related Sonoma County nonprofit do you most admire and why?

Sonoma County Food System Alliance. They bring together stakeholders from all parts of the food system–farmers ranchers, food producers, processors, consumers, educators, food justice advocates–to facilitate conversation and help members see overlapping interests. In order to have a thriving local food system (and local economy), we need buy in and collaboration from groups that may not have worked together in the past. Sonoma County Food System Alliance (supported by Ag. Innovations Networks) is making progress on a county level.

Past Poison


Jordan Reed and his terriers send the rats packing

lot of people are very embarrassed that they have a rat problem,” Jordan Reed says. “So, anonymity is a big thing.”

But, Reed will also tell you, if you have a home chicken coop, particularly one with its floor on the ground and insulated walls, it’s really only a matter of time before you will have something to be embarrassed about. “Working with small homestead farmers,” Reed says, “I discovered a serious problem with raising poultry, which is that, no matter what you do, you’re always going to have rats.”

interested in tangling with the IRS, so prefers to trade his skills. “Most of this has been word-of-mouth,” he says of the nearly endless requests he’s currently receiving. “I’m confident enough now to replicate this at location after location. We’re going to farms, typically, with 25 or more chickens. People who have had chickens for a couple of years, they’re feeding kitchen scraps, they’re free-feeding their chickens, and two years later, they’ve collected quite a collection of rats who are living off of their poultry operation. Once they start seeing rats, they contact me.”

Reed’s solution is time-honored: Bring on the rat terriers. And while his solution might be old, it couldn’t be more timely, as California has passed a new law banning home use of anticoagulant rat poison effective July 1.

But he admits that he can’t solve every pest problem.

The problem with the poison is that it takes days for the rat to die and the animal metabolizes it poorly. Therefore, the rodent is still full of poison when it is eaten by another animal—which then also dies.

In other words, if your chickens live as well as you do, your rats are your doing.

Saying that he is “the only terrier-pack-for-hire that I know of in the United States,” Reed believes that using his Feist breed of terriers is a far more humane and ecologically sound method of rodent eradication. Better than cats—mostly because the Norway rat predominant in our area is too big for a mere cat to kill. “No cat is going to catch a rat that big,” Reed says. “They do significant damage even to the dogs. Cats play with safe prey that they can dispatch quickly. A barn cat will help with juvenile rats and keeping breeding under control, but cats can’t help with real rat problems.” Reed, 33, is a South Carolina native who came to California to skill himself in traditional homesteading. He works as a cellar assistant at Marimar Estate and lives onsite, which allows plenty of room for his four dogs, which he affectionately calls the “Mongrol (sic) Hoard,” to roam. He will gladly take a case of beer for his work or accept the odd box of meat from a CSA. If he did charge for his efforts, he reckons it would cost between $25-$50, but he’s not vol. 1, issue 3 | M AY/J UN 2 0 14 | M A D E L O C A L . C O O P

“I’ve gone to plenty of places where I can’t catch rats,” Reed says. “If they’re in the walls, I can’t catch them. If you build your chicken coop on the ground on the floor like a house, I can’t catch them.”

Perhaps most importantly to him, Reed emphasizes that his Feist terriers are not pets, nor does he breed or sell them. They are co-workers, and his admiration for the animals is clear. “These are dogs that live in kennels when they’re not working,” he emphasizes. “These are not pet dogs. They can’t be in your house. You don’t play with them as puppies. You exercise them. The kinds of dogs that can consistently produce the kinds of results I need are not good pets.” That said, his feeling is one of honor for his terriers. “Any real working dog at any given point in its life would be willing to give up its life on the line for its job,” Reed says. “They’re way more valuable than a pet. A good dog can never be replaced, can never be repurchased, and can never be retrained.” And make no mistake—Reed doesn’t have some weird love of rats or the kill. CONTINUED ON PAGE 45


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Your Community First Credit Union debit card is also a Super GO LOCAL Rewards Card. If you have a CFCU debit card, you may activate it as a GO LOCAL Rewards Card at any electronic rewards merchant and use it in place of a GO LOCAL card. How cool is that? Not only does it get you rebates and discounts at participating GO LOCAL merchants, it also gives you an additional 5% back on a portion of all purchases.

Jordan Reed and one of his ‘Mongrol Hoard’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 42

“Rats stink,” he says flatly. “They’re gross. If you leave them to decompose, they leave grease marks. One thing that’s very scary to people like me is that people think that we’re like Michael Vick. A lot of people think that I get off on blood. Rats are only one thing I do, but that’s the only thing I’m willing to talk about.” Reed hunts, though he’s foresworn bow-hunting as being inhumane given that clean killing with rifles is available. He tries to live off the grid as much as possible. He views himself through the lens of another era. “The old-fashioned woodsman is a bygone archetype,” he says. “People say, ‘I’m a bow hunter who only hunts for deer’ or ‘I’m an elk hunter who pays for hunts in Colorado.’ It’s not, ‘I have a homestead farm and I have the skills to deal with the native environment to survive.’ I see myself as a bridge between those worlds. I’m very interested in traditional methods, and the hunting with dogs and rat control is only part of that.




“I’m not interested in killing things,” he says. “I really care about skills being lost that, in order to be regained, will take us the same amount of time to learn as it did the first time.”

Article resources:

Reed advertises his services on Craigslist:

DECLARATION OF SUPPORT Pillars and actions of the Food Action Plan Created by leaders from all sectors of the food system and community, the Sonoma County Food Action Plan outlines a shared vision to coordinate both dialogue and action. Endorsing the plan strengthens our collective ability to build a more sustainable, economically viable, and socially just food system to support the health and well being of all Sonoma County’s people. The Sonoma County Food Action Plan is composed of four “pillars” of resolve under which there are several action items.

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES • Protecting and enhancing our agricultural land base, farms, and ranches. • Encouraging institutional purchasing that supports the local food systems.

D O C U M E N T I N G P E O P L E | E V E N T S | F O O D | C U LT U R E


• Supporting local food system jobs and commerce. • Encouraging sound resource management.


• Increasing equitable access to healthy, affordable, safe, and culturally-appropriate food and beverage choices, while decreasing availability of unhealthy choices in neighborhoods, schools, and work places. • Connecting the food insecure with food and nutrition assistance programs. • Increasing education about local agriculture, nutrition, and the impact of food and beverage choices.


• Addressing root causes of hunger and food insecurity. • Creating opportunity and justice for famers, farm workers, and food system workers. • Ensuring the inclusion of underserved and underrepresented communities in conversations and policymaking about Sonoma County’s food system. • Increasing community resilience. By endorsing the plan, you join with others to declare support for the vision and our commitment to food system change in Sonoma County. Won’t you do that today? Article resources:

Made Local Magazine  
Made Local Magazine  

May/June 2014 It's all about local food and beverage in Sonoma County. Supporting the food action plan and the Sonoma County Food System All...