Dear Readers,

Having grown up a stone’s throw from San Antonio Creek, which flows directly into the Petaluma River, I’ve seen firsthand the seasonal, annual, and decades-long shifts, changes, and challenges here in our place, with its particular landscapes of food, farms, and people. And as a journalist for over two decades, it’s been a privilege to report on our local businesses, nonprofits, and arts scene.

As the new editor of Made Local Magazine, I’m looking forward to curating diverse collections of stories about our community—the inspiring folks in Sonoma County—including our food producers, human-scale businesses, and makers.

Here, in spring, it’s often still raining. The hills and valleys are at their maximum greenness and are beginning to be blanketed with colorful wildflowers. It’s a time for planting, and early wild harvesting. For local makers and farmers, it’s a time for assessing and planning to meet the year’s opportunities and challenges, and in this issue, we’ll share some of their stories.

High land prices mean that many new and small farmers are improvising. Farmer Will Holloway leases his farmland, and Jenny and Vince Trotter of Kibo Farm have transitioned to a cooperative model.

Because many local farmworkers are immigrants, community organizer and herbalist Jocelyn Boreta saw a need to provide them culturally centered, holistic medicine and wellness programs. She founded the Botanical Bus Mobile Clinic to meet them where they are.

On the retail side, Jupiter Foods grocery store owner Dan Bleakney gathers produce from our farmers’ markets along with a special selection of local and artisan foods, and Soul Fixx Elixirs concocts original kombucha flavors while opening their facility to other beverage companies.

Beyond farms, we talk with local author Frances Rivetti, whose writing is set in Sonoma County, and Samuel Gray Edmondson of Weaving Earth, an organization that offers nature-based programs for youth and adults. And spring-focused recipes from herbalist Erin Masako Wilkins round out our March/April issue.

Made Local Magazine celebrates our friends, family, and neighbors: the creative, resilient farmers, makers and entrepreneurs of Sonoma County. I’ve known so many of these people over the years, and I’m excited to bring their stories of renewal, focus, and vision to you.

To new beginnings,

Kary Hess

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March/April 2024 Online Edition

Story by Kary Hess

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