On weekday mornings, I walk my daughter to school. It’s our luck that her preschool is just a few blocks away—a sweet jaunt that takes us along a section of the Santa Rosa Creek. We take our time once we hit the dirt path above the waterway. My daughter usually comments on the color of the flowing water, which swings between the color of chocolate milk post-rain to bluish-grey when the sediment has settled. Today, for example, we noticed two ducks swimming against the current as we searched in vain for otters. The sight of the hard-working ducks spurred my five-year-old to explain how currents are made. My point in sharing this is to say how much I love and value the tributaries, creeks, and waterways that make up our watershed. Unfortunately, one of the many tragedies to arise from the North Bay fires in October was an unprecedented threat to the water quality we hold so dear—for the health of our drinking water, wildlife, fish, and agriculture. Basically, the very things that make Sonoma County home. Our Drink feature in this issue, “Watershed Protector Powers, Activate!,” focuses on the swift, coordinated action by local companies, government, and nonprofits to keep toxic ash out of the watershed in the wake of the fires. Our Eat feature by writer Ariana Reguzzoni, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” examines the impact of the fall conflagration on three small local farms—Leisen’s Bridgeway, Let’s Go, and Bee-Well—and how they are recovering. But wait, there’s more! The arrival of early spring makes it the perfect time to check out Jenn Moonbrick’s apothecary-inspired cocktails at the popular Petaluma restaurant The Drawing Board, where earthy and modern go hand- in-hand, or maybe support one of the women winemakers featured in Amy Bess Cook’s new online initiative Women-Owned Wineries of Sonoma. It’s time to get out, enjoy the spring weather, take a walk along your favorite creek, partake of our amazing array of local food and restaurants, and head out to the farmers’ markets for shopping as we awaken from winter slumber. You can’t beat this time of year in Sonoma County!
Leilani Clark EDITOR