Traveling highway 12 just outside of Glen Ellen, it’s nearly impossible to miss the towering tree roots designating the entrance to 45-acre Oak Hill Farm. The roots are what’s left of an overturned eucalyptus that met its fate during a winter storm in 1974. Part of 700 wild acres owned by the Sonoma Land Trust, the farm, in operation for over 50 years, produces more than 200 varieties of heirloom vegetables, fruit, flowers, perennial greenery, and herbs.
The Red Barn Store, set in a rustic 100-year old barn, offers for purchase sustainably harvested produce, flowers, and handcrafted wreaths and bouquets. Once a small farm stand, the Red Barn Store has grown to support the local Sonoma community for over 30 years.
If you’re ever in the vicinity of Sonoma, make sure to check out CornerStone along Highway 121. Or better yet, plan ahead and make a day of it. Explore the 20 different innovative garden installations, each with a different theme designed by acclaimed landscape architects and garden designers. Inspired by the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire in France, the gardens include plants, trees, water features, and sculptural elements.
After a stroll though the gardens, enjoy lunch at the café with organic locally-sourced fair, wine tasting rooms, art galleries, and garden gift shops. Oh, and don’t miss climbing into the seat of the Big Blue Chair at the entrance. It’s impossible to miss with its large size and blue color, but just incase you do, there’s a tiny sign pointing right next to it.
Nothing says summer more than a hot day at the pool on Memorial weekend. Please pass the watermelon.
Check out today’s (Sunday, May 25, 2014) Press Democrat both in print and online for my story and sketches of Bodega!
Jack London is internationally famous for his books, “Call of the Wild” (1903) and “The Sea Wolf” (1904). Today the London estate is a public park which includes 1400 acres of trails, pristine vistas, and historic buildings demonstrating early 20th century life. I sketched the Stallion barn with the London’s cottage in the background surrounded by vineyards.
Last month the Ready, Set Sketch group met in the town of Sonoma, CA. This is my unfinished sketch from that day looking east on the downtown plaza.
Back in the last century, it was believed that buildings made with cast iron fronts wereÂ more fire resistant. It turns out to not be true, but the practice proliferated anyway. This building is one of several along Western Avenue referred to as Iron Front Row. The classic Coca-Cola sign painted on the back of the building features a young chicken since Petaluma was once known as the “Egg BasketÂ of the World.”