in vogue and modern again

Spring | Shrub. I’ve never heard of a beverage by the name of shrub. With origins in 17th century England, it’s been in and out of phase over the centuries. Now in vogue, house-fermented shrubs are prepared by the beautiful Shed in Healdsburg. My chosen strawberry came iced with cool bubbly water and garnished with detailed intention. A mild fermented sweetness with a refreshing kick, pale and light.

The Shed calls itself a modern grange. It’s a lovely tall-ceilinged, light-filled space—its offerings curated for aesthetics and usefulness. Historically, grange halls were meeting places for The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, an organization with roots in farming. Here at the Shed, workshops, readings and house concerts mingle with mid-afternoon cappuccinos, and the love and bounty of Sonoma County’s agricultural heritage.

five beautiful things

Winter | ‘Five beautiful things’ was to title February’s journal entry. In looking through my library of winter’s images I came across a white clover in its rain dusted dress. I remembered the early morning walk—the flower found in a folly of weeds alongside an unkempt sidewalk and the new light that cast those soft shadows. Four more.

But wait—just this one was perfect. This one humble clover. This one flower that celebrated all beauty. No more seemed needed as this one ordinary plant embodied a hundred beautiful things—its palette of purity and simplicity, proportions of complexity and delicate grace, and a note that ‘weed follies’ too can inspire.

september notes

Autumn | On a damp autumn morning, a dozen gleaners gathered at a produce farm in West Marin—their rain jackets and boots no afterthought. It was National Gleaning Day and Marin Organic was invited to harvest a field of market-ready sorrel. Tall, tangled and abundantly leafy, it was gathered with a generous intent. Working the fields newly introduced, bagging and boxing the sorrel, the gleaners shared stories and hours. All packaged to be delivered to the local food bank and given to those less fortunate. The last box packed onto the truck, we stood together no longer strangers.

Across the road that parts the fields, rows of rain-washed lettuce seemed ready for their own market pending. A stalwart commitment to raising produce in harmony with a landscape of wild beauty, Star Route Farms carefully tends their forty acres as California’s first organic farm—offering produce that’s passionately grown and cultivated.