Education

Beekind Honey & Beekeeping

Beekeeping Classes & Supplies
921 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol
707-824-2905
Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 10-4
www.beekind.com
Come visit our amazing Tasting Bar
If you are looking for a great gift, come see us.
Honey, Candles, Soap, Lotions, Gifts, Bees & Supplies

Cal Fire – Sonoma, Lake, Napa

135 Ridgeway Ave., Santa Rosa
707-576-2275
fire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/fhsz_maps_sonoma
Contact your local CAL FIRE Station for questions on defensible space.  Also, visit the CAL FIRE website:  www.fire.ca.gov and “The Ready for Wildfire” website www.readyforwildfire.org. for wildland fire tips.  Both websites offer information regarding what to do before, during, and after a wildland fire such as if you are requested to evacuate your residence, how to develop an evacuation plan, and be prepared to get out of harm’s way.

Daily Acts

P.O. Box 293, Petaluma
707-789-9664
www.dailyacts.org
Check website for complete listing of community projects and opportunities to volunteer. Free classes include greywater, rainwater catchment, and lawn-to-lunch transformations. Also available for garden design consultations at your home, with a focus on edible, habitat providing, and water-wise plants.

Ethnobotany Library- Botanical Dimensions

3830 Doris Murphy Ct, Occidental
707-874-1531
www.botanicaldimensions.org
Open Tues & Thurs 11-4 & first Tuesday of each month 5-7pm
Unique literary collection of over 2000 volumes on the human use of plants. Topics include food, fibers, dyes, art, tools, medicine, ecology and spirituality. Kathleen Harrison, Co-Founder and Program Director, is the main teacher of ethnobotany at our site and is available for consult by appointment. Classes taught year round, see website. 

Gardening by the Moon

gardeningbythemoon.com
707-869-3974
There is always something to do in the garden, and this easy to read planting calendar shows you the best days for planting by the phase and sign of the moon. Each month shows garden activities based on your growing season, and tells you when is the fertile time to plant. By working with the forces of nature you can have a more abundant harvest.

Greywater Action- For a Sustainable Water Culture

greywateraction.org
We are a collaborative of educators who teach residents and tradespeople about affordable and simple household water systems that dramatically reduce water use and foster sustainable cultures of water. Through hands-on workshops and presentations, we’ve led thousands of people through greywater system design and construction, and work with policymakers and water districts to develop codes and incentives for greywater, rainwater harvesting, and composting toilets. We believe that decentralized conservation measures can play a critical role in drought resilience, climate adaptation, and the return of healthy stream ecosystems. Our teaching tools include interactive models of composting toilets and greywater systems, presentations, and design and installation workshops.

iGROW SONOMA

igrowsonoma.org
We provide information and encouragement for people to grow their own fruit and vegetables – inspire people to create neighborhood garden groups and new community gardens, and help people find local sources of healthy food. See BLOG postings on seasonal garden topics at igrowsonoma.org/blog., as well as the garden-related events calendar.

Permaculture Skills Center

2185 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol
707-824-0836
Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 9a to  5p
http://permacultureskillscenter.info
We are a 5-acre demonstration site and educational institution dedicated to sharing regenerative land development and management practices. We offer diverse programs for everyone, from our online Eco-Landscape Mastery School (ELM) for those interested in starting or growing their own ecological landscape business to students interested in home gardening, farming, landscaping or land management. We are empowering the next generation of land tenders with the knowledge, skills, and connections needed to create regenerative and resilient ecosystems, communities and economies. We strive to align passion, purpose & prosperity in partnership with the planet.

Quarryhill Botanical Garden

12841 Sonoma Hwy, Glen Ellen
707-996-3166
www.quarryhillbg.org
Open Daily 9-4
Sonoma Valley’s Quarryhill Botanical Garden is home to one of the largest collections of scientifically documented, wild-source Asian plants in North America and Europe, many of which represent ancestors of horticultural favorites found throughout the western world. The 25-acre wild woodland garden has grown into a world-renowned botanical institution, providing other botanical gardens, arboreta, researchers, conservationists, students, and the visiting public with living examples of the beautiful and threatened temperate flora of East Asia. Quarryhill is not only a modern-day ark of rare and beautiful plants, but also a place where education and conservation are at the heart of its mission and run as deep as the tranquil ponds and seasonal waterfalls that surround it. Entering its 31st  year, Quarryhill Botanical Garden is one of the most exotic and biologically diverse places in Sonoma Valley.  quarryhillbg.org

Reveling in the Wildness of Spring

 

by Kellen Watson, Daily Acts

Thanks to the late season rains, our gardens and wild places are now bursting with color and bustling with activity, making it finally feel like spring!  This is a great time to be outside, reconnect with nature and take in all the unique sights, sounds, smells and tastes that come with this season of renewal. While many of us may have spent the last few weeks removing the incredibly healthy weeds that were taking over our gardens, I would like to encourage a shift in focus this month to enjoying the splendor of spring and all the gifts it offers. Below are some of my favorite springtime references, garden activities and suggestions for taking advantage of the season.

Sightsannuals, wildflowers, nesting and mating rituals, birds, butterflies, and bees oh my! For those with kids, setting up opportunities for observation or exploration can be a great way to spend a day in the garden. I suggest going on a bug hunt or constructing a bug hotel to encourage more insect diversity in your garden. Planting annuals or other habitat providing plants with different flower shapes and colors will also help attract more wildlife to the show.

Soundsbuzzing, humming, munching, chirping, quacking, clucking, baaaahhhing… You get the idea, spring is bursting with new life whether it be plant, insect or animal. This is a great opportunity to take a pause, practice a little sound therapy and let the vibrational energy of the garden revitalize you.

Smellssweet like honey, fresh and woodsy, peppery and clean. These scents are meant to attract insects and other pollinators to their food sources, potential mates and are essential to help spread that pollen around to create new life. These scents can be intoxicating, mood lifting and occasionally distracting in a good way. To make these feelings last a bit longer or collect other health benefits, why not make a flower essence or clip a bouquet to enjoy indoors as well.

Tasteswild, bitter and spicy! Spring is a season for cleansing and so it is no surprise that many of our edible annual weeds also provide medicinal properties that help our bodies prepare for the year ahead. Next time you think about weeding that dandelion, why not harvest some leaves for your salad or dry down the root to make a liver support tea. Once you dive into the world of bitters, you will never look at these weeds the same!

For those of you wanting to promote this wildness in your gardens, Daily Acts has a few events that will help you cultivate habitat and design in the multi-functional plants that we celebrate during this season.

Garden Design WorkshopDreaming Up your Water-Wise Oasis on Wednesday, May 23rd from 5:30pm-8pm – Join us for a simple five-step process that will bring a little bit closer to the garden of your dreams. We will cover how to draw to scale, plant selection, irrigation, soils and other garden practices and aesthetics.

Water-Wise Habitat Gardening for Pollinators on Monday, June 4th from 6pm-8pm—Learn how to create a wildlife and pollinator-friendly habitat garden in your own yard with tips from our Sonoma County experts at the Bee Keepers Association, Master Gardeners and Native Songbird Care & Conservation.

And of course, if you come to any of these events or take any of these actions in your garden, please register for the Community Resilience Challenge at communityresiliencechallenge.org/ and share you story with us. This is how we collectively change the world by starting in our own gardens!

Sonoma County Herb Association

Barbara Jean (BJ) Avery, Director
P.O. Box 2162 Sebastopol, CA 95473
707-824-1447
Email: herbexch@sonic.net
www.sonomaherbs.org
Check us out on Facebook! Herb growers, medicine makers, educators, practitioners, gardeners and students. Website details all activities and resources provided by this group, or send email to be put on our email list. ALSO INCLUDES Sonoma County Herb Exchange, a clearinghouse for high quality, locally grown medicinal herbs.

Sonoma Marin Water Partnership

404 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa
707-547-1900
savingwaterpartnership.org
The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership represents 11 water utilities in Sonoma and Marin counties who have joined together to provide a regional approach to water use efficiency. Our website includes a number of programs focused on drought tolerant plants and low water use garden practices including:
– Eco-Friendly Garden Tour
Saturday, May 5th, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. FREE, self-guided, registration is required.
– Water Smart Plant Label
Look for signs at local nurseries identifying low water use plants.
– Water Smart Plant Guide
Database of low water use plants.
– Garden Sense
FREE garden consultations with a master gardener.
– Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper
Find a water-efficient landscape professional.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side ~ Visiting California Carnivores

https://www.californiacarnivores.com/

Damon co-owner of the Sebastopol nursery California Carnivores says he was attracted to carnivorous plants as a boy because they eat bugs.

By Jane Rogan

For those of us who watched too much Science Fiction as children, Carnivorous plants are like something from another planet. Triffids they may be! But true or false, they are being cultivated in Sebastopol for their singular beauty with a life-long dedication by the owners of California Carnivores.

Damon Collingsworth is a Sebastopol native and co-owner of the nursery with Peter D’Amato. They manage a sizable cultivation business, interact enthusiastically with the community and run an international online business. Damon says he was attracted to carnivorous plants as a boy because they eat bugs. Now he is passionate about their rare beauty, fascinated by their unique interpersonal relationship with nature and driven by the need to protect them from extinction.

There is something else. His fascination with carnivorous plants led Damon to the rain forest of Borneo where he lived with a tribal family in their hut. He ate what they eat [lots of fresh seafood]. He wore the clothing they wear. He learned about the forest and the tribe’s culture. Heavy rain pounded the tin roof all day and night, violent lightning provided the necessary carbon burn some of these plants need to thrive, thunder shook the forest. All became the daily norm.

He went native. When he returned home to California, with all its easy conveniences, he experienced the displacement many people feel after spending time so steeped in nature and removed from the Western mainstream. On his arm he shows me the tribal styled tattoo of a pitcher plant. It is part of who he is.

Before he left for Borneo, Damon developed a mentoring friendship with Peter – the Godfather of carnivorous plants. Peter opened the Sebastopol nursery in 1989 and is the author of the award-winning book, The Revised Savage Garden: Cultivating Carnivorous Plants. Peter and Damon have been business partners now for 11 years, growing this most unlikely business of cultivating and conserving the rarest of Paleoendemic plants: Venus flytraps, American pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts, bladderworts, tropical pitcher plants and others – all commercially cultivated for either the curious beginner or the discriminating collector who wants the highest quality plants.

They are the largest carnivorous plant nursery in the United States.

Damon and Peter have infused their business- family culture with the importance of community and ecology. On the day the Gazette visited, Damon was finishing working with a local first grade class. He says he has local students in all the time. Caring for growing things, working in harmony with nature and recycling are lessons that are implicit in the world of carnivorous plants. Studying any one of the many species in the nursery will demonstrate the principal of symbiosis, or interdependence between a plant and an insect – or even a small rodent.

The information Damon and Peter can provide is encyclopedic. So, if you would like to take a quick trip to an exotic environment and learn all about these spectacular plant species, California Carnivores is a must-go-see and experience place.

California Carnivores

2833 Old Gravenstein Hwy Sebastopol, CA 95472
707-824-0433 –info@californiacarnivores.com

www.californiacarnivores.com

While You’re in the Neighborhood…

By Vesta Copestakes

Two unique gardens and plant propagators live in South Sebastopol. Both are worth taking the time to visit while you’re here for California Carnivores. This is a wonderful part of our county. The roads take you into beautiful countryside you may not experience if you weren’t looking for these nurseries.

Lone Pine Gardens specializes in succulents. They grow thousands of them to sell to stores like Friedman Home Improvement and nurseries all over. The tiniest pots contain starts that live on tables until they have established sufficient roots to be sold. And they are beautiful. Some are even planted in unique pottery for table art.

A few years ago a photo of this garden was on the cover of our annual Gardeners Resource Guide.  Joan Humbree was the photographer and I always enjoyed talking with her. An annual visit over the phone. She died not that long ago and I never got to meet her face-to-face, so when we were exploring Damon’s wild plant kingdom, I just had to entice Jane and Su there.

Su is a plant enthusiast who knows the Latin names, so as we wander these gardens, she gets all excited and tells us what they are called, what conditions they like to live in…all kinds of information about these lovely little plants. Her knowledge and joy at being out here makes the journey that much more fun.

Colors, shapes, light and shadow playing across curved, thick…leaves? Are they leaves? Su, tell me what this is…it’s lovely! We gather little pots in our arms and go to pay for them. The website has care information, and lots of photos, probably taken by Joan. It’s worthy of a tour on your computer, but go there as well. Bring money, you WILL bring home treasures for your garden!

Lone Pine Gardens, 6450 Lone Pine Rd, Sebastopol

lonepinegardens.com • (707) 823-5024

Sonoma Horticulture Nursery specializes in Rhododendrons and Azaleas, but also shade plants like ferns, etc. We’re in the tail end of Azalea season but coming into Hydrangea season, so it’s another reason to visit. As you approach the nursery you wonder how can a shade plant garden be out here in the wide open and sunny hills. But once you find the gate and wander down the drive to park you understand. (use the map on the website!)

7+ acres settle into Blutcher Creek valley with towering trees shading the mile-plus walking path, pond and plant propagation areas. It’s lush, dark green, cool and shaded with bursts of color.

The path wanders through the garden so you pick up a map at the small shed by the parking lot where you will bring your treasures back to pay for them before you leave.

Polo de Lorenzo used to own this nursery for decades, then had a hard time maintaining his creation, so now Mike Boss owns it and is taking care of deferred maintenance as he discovers every plant, every wonder that Polo created over the years. It’s an adventure!

Want to spend time here helping Mike? They have Garden Work Parties the second Sunday of the month from 10am – 4pm. And yes, you earn discounts for your efforts. I have a neighbor who has done this for years. You have never seen such lovely gardens in a canyon!

Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, 3970 Azalea Ln, Sebastopol

sonomahort.com • (707) 823-6832

The Gardening Tutor

Mary Frost
707-545-6863
www.thegardeningtutor.net
mary@thegardeningtutor.net
When you’re ready to learn how to improve, care for or design your own garden, contact Mary Frost. Mary carefully crafts her visits to your needs and the needs of your plants. Now see Mary on You Tube, The Gardening Tutor

UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County

133 Aviation Blvd. Ste 109, Santa Rosa:
(707) 565-2608
M-F 8-12 & 1-4
email: mgsonoma@ucanr.edu
www.sonomamg.ucanr.edu
Master Gardeners are volunteers trained and certified by the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in the fields of gardening and horticulture providing information and technical assistance to gardeners. New garden sense series resumes.

University of California Cooperative Extension

http://cesonoma.ucanr.edu/
(707) 565-2621
133 Aviation Blvd, Suite 109, Santa Rosa
Our mission is to sustain a vital agriculture, environment, and community in Sonoma County by providing University of California research-based information in agriculture, natural resource management and youth development.

West County Herb Company

3641 Main Street, Occidental
707-874-9567
www.westcountyherb.com
We carry the very freshest, highest-quality bulk herbs, plants, seeds, herbal products, candles, bees wax, seaweeds, soaps and more,  all sourced locally from the beautiful land and people who call this special place home.

Yoga for Gardeners

Gail Dubinsky, M.D.
1205 Gravenstein Hwy S, Sebastopol
707-829-7596
www.rxyoga.com
A comprehensive program promoting strength, flexibility, body mechanics, ergonomics and mindfulness with special relevance for gardening.