Looking for local food in Mendocino County? Here you can find out which farms grow what foods, and how to buy them.
You can also learn about local food efforts like community gardens, food banks, and farmers markets; see upcoming events on our calendar; and check out helpful gardening guides for growing your own food.
From farmers markets to festivals to work parties and more, keep an eye on our event calendar to find a local food event near you.
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Mendocino Permaculture’s 32nd Annual Winter Abundance Workshop
Saturday January 31, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the Fairgrounds in Boonville
Seed, Scion & Cutting Exchange with Hands-on Fruit Tree Grafting
There is no charge for admission, classes, seeds, cuttings, or scion wood.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS—Rain or Shine9:00 – 4:00 Open tables – Scions, seeds, cuttings and selection advice
9:30 – 10:30 Class – Mark Albert: Basic Techniques of Making Your Own Trees & Vines
10:30 - 12:00 Class – Amigo Cantisano & Jennifer Bliss of The Felix Gillet Institute: Saving and Identifying Local Heirloom Fruits and an Introduction to Arboreal Archeology
10:30 – 11:30 Grafting clinics—sign up at front table as you come in
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch for sale – Salsitas’ Organic Lunch
1:00 – 2:15 Class – Patrick Schafer: Grafting, Budding & Topworking Techniques & Strategies
2:15 – 3:30 Class – Seed Saving Basics by the local Seedsavers Linda MacElwee and Tom Melcher
Seed Exchange: Seeds from local growers with local seed savers on hand. Bring your own saved and labeled seeds to share.
Scion Exchange: Scions will be available all day, with local experts on hand. Please bring labeled scions of your favorite fruit trees– especially the gems that we are trying to save. New varieties and your own seedlings are also welcome. If you do not know the varietal name, just label with your name, phone, brief description. Best scions come from the lower half of the longest and straightest new shoots. Cut scions 8-12” long and ziplock bag them. Cuttings for rooting can be 12-24” long, bundled and bagged. Keep damp and cold on the north side of a building or refrigerate. Cut dormant scions on nice January days rather than waiting until the last moment in this unpredictable season. Our dormancy period is short, so picking scions early is best.
Rootstock sales: We sell over 500 tree rootstocks all day of all major fruit types, for a few dollars each. We have selected the best rootstocks for our climate and soil.
Plant share: everyone is welcome to use our venue to give labeled plants away.
Items that will be sold: Lunch, Beverages, Snacks, Produce, Fruit Tree Rootstocks, Fruit Trees & Vines. Trees & plants & seeds for sale by local growers and seed companies, selected for our climate zone.
Food sales by local people: the Salsitas sells an organic Mexican lunch, and the 6th grade science class sells beverages and snacks. Please bring your own plate, utensils, & cups. Utensil sets are also available for purchase. The Boonville Winter Farmers' Market will be set up for sales too.
This workshop is co-sponsored by Anderson Valley Adult School and Anderson Valley Foodshed with help from the Master Gardener program of U.C. Cooperative Extension. For more information please call Barbara/Rob at 707 895-3897 or Mark at 462-7843.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 15:34.
Zeni Chestnut Festival
The Zeni's 100 year-old dry-farmed seedling trees are a testament to the sustainability of tree crops.
Pick your own fresh chestnuts off the ground for $3.50/lb. De-burring the chestnuts on the ground is easier with good boots and gloves. Zeni sells the de-burred clean chestnuts for $4.50/lb.
Schedule of Events
10:30 am to 4 pm: Chestnut gathering and roasting over the open fire
11 am: Tour of the ranch by the Zenis
12:30 pm: Potluck and music, show and tell of local self-sufficiency
1 pm: Discussion on what this year has taught us; best fruit and nuts
2 to 4 pm: Chestnuts, music, taste the harvest
Please bring: Potluck dish (oven available), made from local ingredients if possible, and your cup, plate, napkins and utensils.
Bring your wine, fruit, nut, or vegetable harvests to show us what works for you. Demonstration tables will be available.
Bring cuttings of fruit plants to share: this is the season to start cuttings of some easy-to-root hardwood plants. Starting early means no inputs except the rain. Bring labeled, de-leafed cuttings (leave the leaf stem on) of these plants: olive, grape, fig, pomegranate, quince, mulberry, kiwi, goji, currant, gooseberry, cherry plum, roses.
Directions: The Zeni Ranch is at mile marker 15.6 on Fish Rock Road (County Highway 122). From Coast Highway 1, junction of Fish Rock (5 miles north of Gualala), go 15.5 miles east. From Highway 128 and Fish Rock Road the junction is at marker 36.56, about 7.7 miles east of the Highway 256/128 junction, or 4.7 miles west of Yorkville, then go 13 miles on Fish Rock Road to marker 15.6. Using odometer and mile markers, it's an easy and enjoyable slow drive through a most beautiful and very remote part of the county.
For information call Mark Albert 462-7843, Barbara & Rob Goodell 895-3897, or Jane Zeni 895-2309.
For more information about the Zeni Ranch, see their website:
Our 2015 Winter Abundance Workshop - Scion and Seed Exchange will be held Saturday, Jan 31, 2015 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville.
In the Right Place
By Tom Melcher
Late in the afternoon on May 7th, 1971, Bernie found himself on the corner of Route 128 and Cloverdale’s main street, which at the time was Highway 101—you know, where the road comes over the hill and heads toward the sawmill. He had a backpack, $200 and intentions of reaching the coastal town of Mendocino by nightfall. He couldn’t see beyond that. Behind him was a troubled love relationship in Berkeley that needed thinking space, four years at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a comfortable childhood outside of Chicago.
Had things gone differently—even by a minute—had someone else picked him up, or had that fellow named Sandy had trouble finding the part to fix the track on the Caterpillar tractor, the world now would be poorer by the count of one apple orchard in Yorkville. But Sandy did stop and, as he drove Bernie north, he started talking about the collective farm he and eight friends had just purchased in the steep hills they were approaching. As Bernie (Bob Bernstein) tells it, Sandy’s narrative was compelling enough for him to accept the invitation to stay over. Forty-three years later, Bernie is still here, now the soul and inspiration of Pomo Tierra Orchard, the source of fresh apples in season and Pomo Tierra’s famous Gravenstein apple juice.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 October 2014 13:07.
Rural Living Skills PresentationsPlease join Anderson Valley Foodshed at the Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show September 12-14 in Boonville. We will have ongoing Rural Living Skills Presentations in our booth adjacent to Apple Tasting in the Ag Building.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:06.
AV High School Agriculture
AVHS Student Leadership and Agriculture
By Valerie Kim
On a sunny spring day I make my way into Beth Swehla’s dome-shaped classroom at Anderson Valley High School. Class is just about wrapping up, kids are headed for lunch, and Beth greets me warmly while simultaneously introducing me to a three-legged goat kid. He jumps around the classroom deftly, seemingly unaware of his handicap, and Beth herself jumps right into it. She explains that one of his legs is fused, and how she has been bottle-feeding him for the last week. He seems perfectly happy and healthy, and she seems totally unfazed about this extra duty on top of her already heaping plate.
Beth has been working in the Agriculture Department at AVHS since the summer of 1989. She explains, “The agriculture program was already started at that point, started in the ‘50s or ‘60s, was closed down and then brought back to life sometime in 1983. I went to high school in Ft. Bragg and studied agriculture there and at Fresno State. I worked at Hendy Woods in the early 80’s and I saw the farm manager position open. At the beginning I was just managing the farm forty hours a week and then gradually I started teaching classes. There were a couple of agriculture teachers here. The farm manager’s job was to prep things for lab and to fix things. Now I am the agriculture teacher, the farm manager, and the FFA advisor. They synchronize well, but it’s more than one person can do.”
Chew On This
Deciding what to eat, indeed deciding what qualifies as food, is not easy ... When Froot Loops can earn a Smart Choices check mark, a new industrywide label that indicates a product’s supposed healthfulness, we know we can’t rely on the marketers, with their dubious health claims, or for that matter on the academic nutritionists who collaborate on such labeling schemes.
Rules to Eat By by Michael Pollan
The New York Times Magazine
October 11, 2009