When I think back to one of the joys of summer as a child, the 4th of July, watermelon, and summer fresh fruits and vegetables are what come to mind. Waking up to attend a small town 4th of July Parade in Sonoma this year will be on the minds of several of our local families and vacationers as they prepare to celebrate our nations birthday. The thing that makes our little parade so special is our local hometown flavor with a hint of passion, history, culture and the combined energy of our community to keep it all alive. Our beautiful little town is situated in the backdrop of the Sonoma Mayacama Mountains in the heart of one of the world’s premier wine producing regions (www.sonomacity.org). If you find yourself in Sonoma on July 4th, join in the celebration.
Summertime is also a great time to visit local farms. My mouth starts watering as I recall the tangy taste of tomatoes, the whiff of the basil’s fragrance from a stem I just snapped off, and the sweet juice of a peach on my fingers and my lips as I bite. My hometown of Sonoma is also a wonderful place to explore our local farms. You can learn about our farms that are open to the public by visiting a great online resource: Farm Trails (www.farmtrails.org).
Back in 1973, a group of Sonoma County farmers got together and formed the nonprofit, Farm Trails. Their goal: to help ensure the preservation of Sonoma County’s rich agricultural heritage. The farmers created a map & guide listing the local farms and agricultural businesses and invited the public to meet the farmers and learn more about the origins of their food. These forerunners also produced the Gravenstein Apple Fair held every August to celebrate the heirloom apples of Sonoma County. In addition, Farm Trails created seasonal farm tours to promote their mission of cultivating “community by facilitating both farmer-to-farmer and farmer-to-public educational forums, as well as offering relevant events to foodies and aspiring producers.”
Dry Creek Peach Farm is one of the farms on this “trail” that I visited. The farm grows organic tree-ripened, hand-picked and hand-packed peaches, which ensures that the high quality flavor and the optimal nutritional value of the peaches are retained. This small, family-run farm is located in the Dry Creek Valley of Healdsburg in Sonoma County. It is one of the last remaining peach farms in the Northern California wine country area (www.drycreekpeach.com).
When you visit Sonoma in the summertime, be sure to first visit online at: www.FarmTrails.org to learn about upcoming agricultural and farm events that you can attend during your stay.
OTHER SONOMA LINKS TO VISIT
Gravenstein Apple Fair, Sebastopol, California: August 8-9, 10AM to 6PM: www.gravensteinapplefair.com
Sonoma Visitors Bureau:
How Sweden Transformed Their Food Movement:
Lynne Marie Bennett is a certified Natural Chef, Nutrition Consultant & Educator, and certified Culinary Travel Professional through World Food Travel Association. Her company is California Culinary & Wellness Adventures.