In the Netherlands, farmers markets are different, there is a fabric market, a produce market, a book market etc. My favorite ones had flowers, food, cheese, fabrics, notions etc etc. Only when temperatures are below freezing point not all vendors would be there.
Here in Sonoma County the farmers markets are more about food, garden plants, and other local treasures. A great place to shop local.
Not all farmers markets are year round, the West End Farmers Market is. Rain or shine, it’s a great place to shop local.
November can be rainy or not so rainy. So far we have not seen a lot of rain yet. Right now we are in the middle of a drought.
However November is a month with a lot of fruit trees that bear fruit in this time of the year. This year there is an abundance of persimmon, pomegranate and lemons.
Life is good in Sonoma County.
Sonoma County is beautiful area with quite a few beautiful parks.
The parks are beautiful year round, spring and summer with all the wild flowers, fall with the incredible colors, winter with the dramatic skies and sunsets…
One of my favorite hikes is to Gunsight Rock in the Valley of the moon. A great way to discover the parks is to do the 2014 Trails Challenge : hike 5 or more trails featured in the Trails Challenge guidebook anytime before November 30th. When you finish all five
hikes, fill out the “Trails Log” with information about the routes you took and what the Trails Challenge was like for you. Email this info and receive a Trails Challenge water bottle.
Happy trails! Looking forward to your hike adventure stories. Mirjam
Coming from a colder climate, I had never seen hummingbirds in real life – in Dutch they are called kolibries.
Now, living in Sonoma County, they are a regular sight in our yard. Besides hummingbird feeders, there are many flowers that attract humming birds and it takes some time for the birds to discover the feeders, but once they have, you can enjoy these beautiful birds. They are very territorial so it’s not unusual to have birds fighting over a feeder – quite entertaining. Besides entertaining, there are many benefits to have a hummingbird friendly garden. They pollinate flowers, love to feast on soft-bodied insects like aphids, gnats, mosquitos, caterpillars, and they love to devour insect eggs. Hummingbirds can help you to keep the insect population down quite dramatically as they devour dozens of pests from your garden each and every day.
Moving to a different area, just overwhelmed with life, or simply a craving for comfort food? A great little restaurant to try is Sweet T’s. It is in Fountaingrove village, a little bit off the beaten path but worth the try.
The menu consist of southern comfort food, the smoked meat is delicious, service is friendly and there is a nice terrace to sit outside. My hubby highly recommends the pulled pork, my personal favorite is the hush puppies;) And you can order local wines: Paradise Ridge, Seghesio, are 2 of them.
Year round veggies from your own garden, yes the local climate allows the local veggie garden enthusiast to harvest veggies year round. For those who don’t have the time nor the desire to dig in the dirt but who love great tasting veggies, the local farmers market is a great source. One that just started again is the West End Farmers Market. Every Sunday from 10 am – 2pm, from March to December.
West End is one of the historic neighborhoods in Santa Rosa. A great neighborhood to live or to enjoy when visiting the farmers market on Sundays.
The coast of California is considered one of the most beautiful coasts of the world.
The northern part of it is rugged with spectacular views. A favorite weekend get away destination is Mendocino, a small coastal town about a 2 hour drive from Santa Rosa. The drive through Anderson Valley is beautiful, with many great wineries along the way.
Last weekend we stayed at the newly opened Heritage House Resort in Little River, just south of Mendocino. It was closed for a few years and recently re opened. The location right on the coast is spectacular, the rooms are beautiful and comfortable and the restaurant on site has an ever changing but great menu.
We will for sure go back, the location and the people who work there make it the perfect get away.
There is a small airport in Sonoma County, it’s called Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS).The main airline flying from this airport is Alaskan Airlines with non stop flights to Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego and Seattle.
It is a small airport with plans to expand. Click on this link for more details. This might take a while due to environmental issues. Recently the airport expansion has been in the news with regards to using eminent domain to purchase property needed for this expansion. More about eminent domain in my RE blog.
Last year we flew from Santa Rosa to Los Angeles, this was a pleasant experience. Adding up what it would costs us to fly from San Francisco (parking, gas, toll) it made more sense to fly from our local airport.
And the Airport Express leaves from this airport with services to Oakland and San Francisco airport.
Sonoma County has strong agricultural roots. As early as 1920, Sonoma County was ranked as the eighth most agriculturally productive U.S county and a leading producer of poultry products, hops, grapes, prunes, apples and dairy products, largely due to the extent of available, fertile agricultural land and an abundance of high quality irrigation water. Over the years, grapes have taken over, currently we have 13 approved American Viticultural Areas and over 250 wineries. About 80 percent of non-pasture agricultural land in the county is for growing wine grapes
The coming week, we have the yearly Fair. The Sonoma County Fair is among the region’s most time-honored and cherished traditions. It began in 1936, when local leaders Joseph T. Grace, Ernest Finley, Emil Kraft and V.G. Garrett joined forces to create a race track and exposition center to showcase the abundance of Sonoma County.
One of my favorites is the flower show, this years theme is going to be backyard blossoms. The gardens are beautiful, and I always find great ideas to us in our own garden.
It’s from July 25 to August 11, open daily (except Mondays) from 11 am – 10 pm.
Did you know that more and more wineries have picnic grounds: bring your own picnic lunch, buy one of there bottles of wine – usually they will provide the glasses too- and enjoy!
Last week we discovered a winery that has -to our opinion- one of the most spectacular views. It is Gustafson winery. It’s is a bit of a drive but totally worth it. The wines are nice, people are friendly, grounds are beautiful and the views… to die for.
Almost forgot: they are only open on Saturdays.