Farming is tough work, from day to night, which doesn’t leave much room for the marketing and business side of things. Enter the Farm-to-Shelf Service grant from Sloat Design Group, which provides local farms with pro-bono, professional branding services. They recently announced the 2017 grant winner: Oz Family Farm in Dry Creek Valley. Inspired by their kid’s 4-H projects, Kelly Osman and her husband launched the farm in 2003, specializing in heritage turkeys, geese, rabbits, and ducks with a focus on humane and sustainable practices. They sell the animals for meat to Bay Area restaurants and individuals looking for a nice, fat Christmas goose. Thanks to the grant, Oz Family Farm will get branding strategies and guidance along with a new package design for their rabbit vermicompost. Sloat Design Group, based in Petaluma, selects a different small farm each year. Last year’s winner was Beet Generation farm in Sebastopol, which received a free rebrand of their farm-made pasta line. Sloat Design Group will be accepting applications for the 2018 grant cycle later this year.
Sonoma County is home to 25 active 4-H clubs for youth between the ages of 5 and 19.
Happy Birthday to Sonoma County Regional Parks
The network of regional parks across our county is a true treasure— especially now that we understand the mental and physical health benefits of getting into nature (forest bathing, anyone?). Which park is your favorite? We’re partial to Spring Lake for its urban accessibility and Taylor Mountain for its beautiful hiking paths, expansive view of the Santa Rosa plain, frisbee golf course, and bovine inhabitants. This year, we wish the Sonoma County Regional Parks a happy birthday as they celebrate their 50th anniversary. A roster of celebratory activities includes a Spanish-language nature hike at Hood Mountain on May 6, Mother’s Day invasive bouquet workshop on May 13 at Ragle Ranch, Winging It Wednesdays at Spring Lake on May 31 where participants will learn to identify 50 different birds, and a Surf History Camp at Doran Beach starting on June 26.
Pre-registration required for some events.
For the full calendar go to http://parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov/Activities.aspx or call 707.565.3080.
Save the Date
Thursday, May 11
The Sonoma County Zero Waste Symposium is a chance for the community to come together and learn about zero waste best practices, principles, and policies with an eye towards regional opportunities. The event features a full roster of speakers and local vendors. $45 registration fee.
Railroad Square Music Festival Helps Out the West End Farmers’ Market
On Sunday, June 11 the Railroad Square Music Festival returns to Santa Rosa for the third year running. While the free festival focuses on music, with a good line-up of local bands curated by Josh Windmiller of the North Bay Hootenanny, this year also has an underlying food system connection—and not just in the sales of beer from Lagunitas and wine from Virginia Dare; Proceeds from the festival benefit the West End Farmers’
Market EBT matching program, which allows CalFresh clients to double their EBT funds up to $25 for purchase of locally grown produce. According to the Ecology Center in Berkeley, healthy food incentive programs in California have proven to increase food choices for low-income customers along with profit margins for small and mid-size local farmers. The West End Farmers’ Market, which typically runs on Sundays, will still happen in the parking lot between the Santa Rosa Visitor’s Center and Depot Park. The Railroad Square Music Festival will feature more than 15 performers on multiple stages, including David Luning, John Courage, B and the Hive (formerly Girls and Boys) La Gente, Lungs and Limbs, and more.