I moved to Sonoma County over 16 years ago, in part to thaw out from the six years I spent in Vermont after leaving my native Louisiana for college.
People often assume I’m from here, which I take as a high compliment. The truth is that like many transplants from elsewhere, I too am a product of this county. Not only have I discovered the sublime pleasures of winter hiking at Sugarloaf before indulging in the comfort food at nearby TIPS Roadside, I’ve come to revere the symbiotic relationship between this most beautiful slice of earth and the good people who steward it. Though I sometimes miss the muggy Mardi Gras parades of my hometown or ice-skating on frozen Lake Champlain, I’m ever grateful that my life has taken root here.
As a renter, mother of two kids, freelancer, and adjunct English instructor, I also deeply understand the hustle to make ends meet in one of the priciest places on earth. Like many of you, I grow some of my own food, subscribe to a weekly CSA, walk wherever I can, take full advantage of happy hour prices, and have serious opinions about which thrift stores yield the best goods. This ability to acknowledge the highs and lows of living here, to embrace two conflicting truths at once, is exactly the place I urge my students of critical thinking to inhabit.
It’s also the balance I’ve sought to strike in my inaugural issue—which recognizes the grim reality of climate change while celebrating the inspiring activism of the youth-led Sunrise Movement; profiles long-running ACE Cidery in light of the hardships of a shifting apples-to-grapes agricultural landscape; and highlights the need for local Fibershed communities to ameliorate the wreckage of the fast fashion industry.
In addition to Eat, Drink, and Grow, we’ve added a “Make” section to the magazine in order to expand our scope to the burgeoning craftsmanship and artistry embodied in this county. I’d love to hear your ideas of how we can continue to amplify and celebrate the myriad voices, both generations deep and newly flourishing, that make up Sonoma County.