Page 32 - Sonoma County Gazette June 2019
P. 32

   If it seems like I write a lot about music events
“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? ... the answer is love.” ~ Wendell Berry
at the Petaluma Historic Library and Museum that is because the affiliated Petaluma Museum Association never ceases to amaze Petalumans with the level of entertainment the PMA offers on a regular basis.
I also cannot resist writing about these music events because of the PMA’s association with the irrepressible Kayleen Asbo, Ph.D, who is an absolute dynamo in person and leaves audiences convinced they just discovered their new favorite composer. She “weaves together myth, psychology, history, and the arts” in such a captivating way that it the applause is just as vigorous for her presentations as they are for the performances that follow.
My mother Evelyn grew up on a farm. Her grandfather had a homestead on 150 acres near the Wexler post office and pony express stop. Today that area of Northern California is known as Burney Falls. The land her grandfather built his home on included 900-year-old oaks, a freshwater source, and a pond. Matthew Baker immigrated from Germany where large trees
and forest were revered. So even under financial distress, he never thought of cutting those trees down.
This brings me to yet another incredible classical music event being put on by the PMA and the Sky Hill Cultural Alliance. I say “event” because it is so much more than just a concert. On Sunday, June 16, the museum will open its doors for the 1 p.m. kick-off the “Schubertiade” which pays homage to
the informal and unadvertised gatherings that revolved around food, drink, dancing, and the music of Schubert back during his short life.
Eventually, he lost his Homestead not having enough cash to pay his
land taxes. The terrible thing was that the next owner of that oak savanna, chopped those giant oaks down, sold them, and had cash to spare for taxes. Unfortunately, this pattern continues among small farms who often lose their farms and livelihoods to Big Ag.
Schubertiades are still held today throughout Europe but this is the first I have heard of one locally, which makes this extra special. It will run from 1 to 6 p.m. with three sections of music, including Schubert’s Trout Quintet, with breaks in between for slide shows, stories, and some of Schubert’s favorite foods. Early bird admission is only $30, before June 10, and $40 after that, with student tickets available for $10.
Of course, some people have great luck with farming, but I don’t believe anyone will tell you it’s an easy life. Every child in my mother’s family did farm chores. The youngest at age three fed the chickens and hunted for eggs. The oldest helped their father feed the cows and do the daily milking.
Petaluma’s two summer farmers market will open as of June 5.
My mother recalls a year they planted eight sacks of potatoes and only grew eight sacks of potatoes! That was a hunger year. My grandmother Alice Baker worked as a sharecropper at the age of 12 with her four siblings. When her children were small on the Homestead, she taught them not to greedily fill their stomachs. She led them in saying grace and leaving food so that the whole family would get enough to eat. In other words, eat to live not live to eat.
The Theatre Square farmers market starts June 5 and runs everything Tuesday, starting at 4:30 p.m. through August 28. Downtown’s Walnut Park farmers market is already in full swing, Saturdays from 2 to 5:30 p.m., through October or November.
So, I congratulate Cotati for their vision and follow-through on Veronda- Falletti Ranch.
Ribs for Kids is not only a great day of BBQ eating, but the proceeds go towards helping disadvantaged local youth. Put on by the Petaluma Active 20-30 Club, the 5th Annual cook-off is Saturday, June 8, from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Lucchesi Park. Presale tickets are $35 for those of drinking age ($5 more at the door), with discounted tickets available for those of non-drinking age, including free entry for kids 12 and under. Admission gets those of drinking age 8 food tickets and a drink ticket, which is plenty to keep you fat and happy all afternoon. (Additional food and drink tickets are available for purchase.) Along with the BBQ pork rib competition, there will be a side dish competition, beer and wine, live music, and games and raffles. Yours truly has been a judge each year since the event’s inception and wouldn’t miss it for anything. Of all the food events I judge, this is by far my favorite, not only because it helps a good cause, but because the competitors, many of whom are simple backyard BBQ’ers, smoke up some of the best ribs I get anywhere. The event always has a few open spots so if you want to try your hand at competing, get a hold of them ASAP to see if you sneak in. The entry fee includes the meat for the competition. Visit kids for more info.
The Petaluma Footrace is back after a three year break, thanks to Petaluma’s Mentor Me and LUMA Fitness joining forces to help bring back the return of this proud community tradition. On Saturday, June 22, starting at 8 a.m., runners and walkers will have their choice of a 3 and 5 mile course through beautiful Shollenberger Park, with a post-race celebration and expo featuring food, drink, live music, and booths of local businesses, including the two main sponsors, Keller Estate and Lagunitas Brewing Company. www.
The North Bay Rowing Club starts its summer programs just in time for clouds to part and the sun to shine through. The Juniors Summer Camp has five sessions, each a week long, running from 9 to noon each day. Start dates are June 10 & 17, July 15 & 29, and August 5. The first starts on June 10th and finishing with the August 5th – 9th session. The cost is $175 per week however students do not need to attend each week in order to get still get a lot out of the program. Additionally, there the Adult Learn-to-Row classes, which are weekends from 9 a.m. to noon, start on June 15, July 15, and August 10 and are $150 per weekend.
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Happenings at the Veronda-Falletti Ranch
Farmster’s Open Farm Friday is an engaging and entertaining two-hour program from 3-5pm for family, friends, and neighbors at the Historic Veronda- Falletti Ranch, near downtown Cotati. A tour of the site’s history, current operations, and future plans begins promptly at 3pm followed by a family friendly hands-on activity at 4pm. Please RSVP or drop-in at the designated timeslot.
Upcoming open farm Friday dates: April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, Aug 16, Sept 20, Oct 18, 2019.
Dates: July 29-August 2, 9:00am-12:00pm. Fee: $160/week. Location: Veronda-Falletti Ranch, Corner of West Sierra Ave & East School Street (next to City Hall). Instructors: Farmster & City of Cotati Staff.
NEW! Jr. Farmsters Camp for ages 5-12
Come join us for the first ever Farm Camp at the historical Veronda-Falletti Ranch! We will spend the week learning about the history of the ranch and agriculture in Cotati, tending to the animals, caring for the garden, and learning about daily life on a working farm. This camp has limited space so enroll early to ensure your spot. Please send your child in closed toe shoes and with water and a snack each day.
2nd Annual Cotati Music Festival , Saturday June 15th
Presented by the Cotati Chamber of Commerce. Saturday, June 15th, Time: 12:00-6:00pm Location: La Plaza Park Fee: Free! Come join in for a free event with music, dancing, food and drink vendors, and more! For more information, call 707-795-5508 or visit
Summer Movies in The Park
Fridays, June 7th, July 19th, August 6th, and September 13th Location: La Plaza Park. Fee: Free! Movies: June 7th – The Goonies

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