Deborah Wiig

2023 Home Gardener Produce Exchange/Donation

Produce exchange at the Sebastopol Grange

Join us in our mission of creating an economy of abundance. We will do more good, grow more food, create more beauty….thus creating stronger community, resiliency, and biodiversity.

It’s our 5th year & WE ARE GROWING! Join us & Grow our community!

*New winter season crops exchange
*Select seeds and starts will be provided
*Food preservation meet-ups
*New Collaborators
*Option to join the Grange Virtual Farm!

What: It is time for our yearly local project to redistribute homegrown produce and eliminate food waste. This is an opportunity to trade surplus items from your garden for something you don’t have. You may also bring produce that you have gleaned (with permission of course) from a neighbor’s yard. Check in for dates when we will be joined by the Master Food Preservers who have a wealth of information to pass on. Plant starts will also be shared and traded.

Where: The Sebastopol Grange 6000 Sebastopol Rd/Hwy 12

When: 5:00 – 5:45 pm on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, May 9 – Oct 24, 2023
With a new winter date added! Feb 28, 2023 5-5:45pm Bring: greens, citrus, winter squash, etc. We will have pea seeds (from Community Seed Exchange) for timely planting.

Dates: May 9 & 23, June 13 & 27, July 11 & 25, Aug 8 & 22, Sept 12 & 26, Oct 10 & 24

Contact: GrangeProduceExandVirtualFarm@gmail.com

The Sebastopol Grange’s helping hands reach across the world!

Sebastopol Grange’s raffles at our recent Craft Fair enabled a recipient (Name has been omitted for their protection) to provide coal for 25 poor families in Afghanistan. We’re grateful to Dr. Elizabeth Sailer for making the connection so that we could offer this support. From our Facebook page:

Raffle winner
Facebook exchange with refugee project

December meeting and Holiday Celebration

December Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday CelebrationDecember Holiday Celebration

Amy Crawford created a holiday wonderland in the Grange Hall with dazzlings displays of twinkling trees and botanical decorations throughout the hall, including festive owls. The food was fabulous, and the cookie table was chock-full of tasty treats. Grangers enjoyed catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones. Laura engaged some willing particpants in a whipped cream challenge and Lawrence and Paul entertained with some fun tunes. Thanks to all who came and to Laura, Carol, Amy, Dot, Hrieth, and others who worked hard to create this fun evening!

We learned to make fruit wine at our October meeting

Learning to make fruit wine at the GrangeLearning to make fruit wine at the Grange

At our General Meeting on October 25, 2022, Vi Epperson, one of our newest members, gave a presentation about how to make fruit wines at home.  Vi had too much fruit growing at her house and found a recipe handbook for making fruit wine.   She considers herself a kitchen winemaker. Here’s what we learned:

Equipment needed:

  • Food grade fermentation bucket. (Sanitation is very important.)
  • Mesh bag to hold the fruit.
  • Carboys (specially shaped jugs for the second fermentation.) They come in 1- gallon, 3- gallon, 5-gallon sizes or larger. Vi had a 3-gallon one with her. One gallon=5 bottles.
  • Siphon tubing
  • Corker

Supplies can be found at the wine supply store including the Beverage People.  Vi can also loan out some of her equipment if she is not using it.

Process:

  • Make a sugar solution with water based on the weight of the fruit.
  • Add the yeast nutrient, the acid blend, the pectinase (an enzyme that breaks up pectin), and sulfite (to prevent bacteria) to the sugar solution.
  • Put the cut-up fruit (remove stems, seeds, and blemishes, but not skin) in the mesh bag and let it sit for a day in the sugar solution. 
  • Add the yeast after 24 hours.  Keep the container covered.  Avoid fruit flies.
  • Stir and press the pulp each day for 5 to 7 days.
  • Strain and siphon to a carboy with an airlock which helps release the CO2 gas.
  • Siphon to another carboy after about 3 weeks.
  • After 2-3 months when the bubbling CO2 stops and it seems that the fermentation has ended, you can siphon again, leaving behind the lees (the residual plant material that has settled to the bottom) to have as clear a wine as possible.
  • Bottling can then occur.

Thank you, Vi, for an informative presentation and the wine tasting that followed!

Applications for 2022 Craft Fair at the Grange

Grange Craft Fair

Hello Crafters! We are thrilled to announce the dates of our 2022 Craft Fair. We will be hosting 2 days of local crafts at the Sebastopol Grange Hall on Saturday, November 19th and Sunday, November 20th.
Please fill out the form below and send it back to us by Monday, September 5th for consideration in this year’s Craft Fair.
A Booth at this year’s Craft Fair will cost $45 for a Grange Member, and $65 for a non-Grange member. This amount is due upon arrival to the Craft Fair.
Each booth at the Craft Fair will donate items that you will be selling at your booth to our Basket raffle.
These baskets are a weaving of everyone’s crafts and creations, raising funds for a wonderful local program. Each booth must contribute a minimum of $25 value of your booth’s crafts towards the basket raffle, but know that the greater value you give, the more money we can raise to benefit this program.
We will send out notice of acceptance and waiting lists by Wednesday, Sept. 14th.
Please send any questions that you may have to: grangeevent@gmail.com
We look forward to celebrating the local, handmade, creations with you all.

Please submit your Application Form online.

With thanks,
Jeanna & the Sebastopol Grange Craft Committee

Reflections on Volunteering in Poland and Ukraine by John Namkung

Lone Pine Ukrainian Family Aid ProjectLone Pine Ukrainian Family Aid ProjectLone Pine Ukrainian Family Aid ProjectLone Pine Ukrainian Family Aid Project

Since the war in Ukraine started on February 24, an estimated 6.5 million Ukrainians (mostly women and children) have left Ukraine and another 6.5 million people have been displaced within the country.

Sebastopol resident John Namkung gave a presentation at our July General Meeting about his experience working in Ukraine and Poland as a volunteer with Type of Wood Charities. John transported Ukrainian families to cities in Poland and delivered food to shelters in Ukraine. Over the course of his stay, he drove a rental car approximately 5,000 miles.

A Press Democrat story tells about his and his neighbor David Schneider’s experiences there.

John shared many photos with us, some of which are shown above, and explained why he chose to go to Ukraine to help, rather than donating money. He believes that to help others when they are most vulnerable and in need can be a gift of compassion that can change lives. “The best of humanity shines,” he said, “even in the darkest times.”

John and some of his neighbors have organized Lone Pine Ukrainian Family Aid (LPUFA) to sponsor a Ukrainian family to come and live in Sonoma County for two years. Three generations of a Ukrainian family, a mother, two daughters age 8 and 13, their grandmother, and their dog will live in a Rohnert Park home provided at reduced rent by a local resident. In addition to grants and donations already obtained, the group needs to raise about $61,000 to fund the two-year stay. The local group is working under the financial auspices of Type of Wood Charities.

If you would like to donate, here are three ways:

  1. Check payable to Type of Wood Charities:
    567 Polk St., Twin Falls, Idaho 83301
    Write “Lone Pine Ukrainian Family Aid” in the memo line on the check.
    (This will ensure that your donation goes to this project.)
  2. GoFundMe: https://gofund.me/13b185b0
    Please use only this specific GoFundMe link, to ensure your donation goes to this project.
  3. Go online to: https://www.typeofwood.org/
    Do not select the PayPal option. Scroll down until you see a blue and white box that says, “Choose amount” at the top. You can select a One-time or Monthly payment. If you want to make a recurring payment, select the “Monthly” option. Write “Lone Pine Ukrainian Family Aid” in the comment section. (This will ensure your donation goes to this project.)

Food Localization Action Group

Thursday July 21, 2022 6pm at the Sebastopol Grange
Are you concerned about inflation, the environment, and ……………..?
Then come join us for a program hosted by Sonoma County’s Food Localization Action Group.
We will invite you to consider new ways of addressing the issues we face. After a chance to eat, drink, and socialize, we will discuss:

  • How re-integrating food production into our cities and rural periphery can address social, economic, and environmental concerns.
  • Why we need a different way of thinking of farming and gardening.
  • How we can regain control over our lives and build a more self-sufficient society, right here, right now, without waiting for distant governments or elites to act.
  • … and more. Plus, an exciting Q&A afterwards!

Bring your friends, the date you want to impress, a good beverage, a dish to share, and lots of curiosity to the Sebastopol Grange at 6000 Sebastopol Ave, Hwy 12 on Thursday, July 21.
Outdoor Potluck Dinner at 6pm, program at 6:45pm. Please consider masking inside during the program for the safety of some of our participants.
Free. (Donations welcome).
Please RSVP here to let us know you’re planning on attending.

Grangers, family and friends enjoyed visiting Amy and Jim Crawford’s farm on July 23!

On Saturday, July 23rd, Jim & Amy Crawford hosted a tour of their Flower Farm Tour in Cotati.
Their farm is based on Regenerative Farming principles, building beyond organic & sustainable concepts, to help heal the earth.
The flowers were bursting into bloom and showing off their finery. Guests were invited to bring a jar/vase to take some home. After the tour, folks enjoyed a BBQ.
Learn more about the farm here.

Fire Preparedness Tips from Jannike Allen

At our May meeting, Granger Jannike Allen gave a presentation entitled Prepping You and Your Home for Wildfire in California.

Click here to view or download a copy of her presentation.

Here are some tips she shared:

Living with Fire
Jannike encouraged us to change our attitudes and learn about fire ecology.
Our local vegetation needs low intensity fire in order to be healthy.
Controlled/prescribed burns are beneficial, and although the smoke is still a nuisance, it is better than the smoke from a mega-fire.
Check purpleair.com for the latest information on air quality.
Buy N-95 and MERV-13 filters now before there is a spike in demand.
Get an air purifier or create one with a box fan and a MERV-13 filter.

Evacuation Prep
Freeze extra ice to fill your fridge when the power is out.
Place a penny on top of frozen container of water. If the penny falls to the bottom, you might want to think about the quality of your frozen food because the power would have been off for quite a while.
5 P’s for Evacuation: people, prescriptions, papers, personal needs (a Go Bag), priceless items.
·Check your insurance to see if it is up-to-date. Do a video walk-through of your home. Back up documents to Cloud storage.

Fire Prevention
Heed Red Flag Warnings. This happens when there are strong winds, low relative humidity, and dry fuels. Generally speaking, it is better to mow in the morning when the relative humidity is higher.
Pay attention to local emergency alerts. Watch Duty is a good app.
Have a home assessment done by local professionals.
Develop good neighborhood relationships and contact information.
Have a reflective address sign.
If you have to evacuate, leave hoses and ladders out for firefighters to use.
Reducing Home Ignition
Reduce wildfire risk by working from your home outward.
Upgrade vulnerable components like attic vents. Use 1/8” or 1/16” wire mesh to keep flying embers out of the attic.
Develop good maintenance habits like clearing gutter of leaves and needles.
Be smart about landscaping—reduce ladder fuels and debris.

Further Resources

Our April Meeting feat. fellowship, food, music and more!

April 2022 General MeetingApril 2022 General MeetingApril 2022 General MeetingApril 2022 General MeetingApril 2022 General MeetingApril 2022 General MeetingApril 2022 General MeetingApril 2022 General MeetingApril 2022 General Meeting

At our April meeting, Grangers and friends gathered to enjoy the Laguna sunset view and tailgate drinks. We came inside to enjoy Minestrone Soup and garlic bread and good company!
We sang out “the love between our brothers and our sisters, a-a-a-all over this land”, led by Paul Schwebel and Lawrence Jaffe!
Granger Elin Lennox shared a presentation on the unsustainable nature of our shrimp consumption.
Everyone is welcome to join us for our General Meetings, held on the last Tuesday of every month!