November, December, January, February, and March showers bring April flowers! This month is definitely the time to get out and enjoy all of our valley’s wild spaces and cultivated gardens. The daffodil yellows of late winter are giving way to the mesmerizing purples of lavender, rosemary, lupine, and California lilac.
I recently had family in town and we took advantage of a brief break in the rain to explore Quarryhill Botanical Garden. I have to admit that it was my first time there (shameful) even though I’ve lived here more than seven years! I actually thought it was only open by appointment and for school groups (my kids had all been on fieldtrips). I’m thrilled now to have experienced this open-to-the-public, beautiful place for strolling through a wild garden of Asian native plants. We will definitely go back sometime this month as more of the plants are “waking up.” On April 22, Quarryhill will host their 10th Annual Earth Day Celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event has no admission fee but there is a parking fee of $10 per car. They will be having an extensive rare plant sale as part of the event. Find more information about this Glen Ellen gem at quarryhillbg.org.
Of course this time of year is ideal for exploring all of our native wild lands as well. Jack London State Park boasts nearly 30 miles of trails over almost 1,500 acres. You can self-explore or attend guided hikes or events. This Glen Ellen landmark is a wonderful place to visit with your out-of-town visitors. You can always find updated events on their website, jacklondonpark.com. Coming up in April, for example: Family Fun Days (a series geared towards pre-K through second graders) and Jack London Short Story Read-aloud (April 8), the Wildflower Walk (April 9), and the Wildflower Hike (April 15). Pack a picnic and head up to the park!
And speaking of goodies…
April is also the first month of the year when we Glen Ellenites can really start digging into local produce both from our own properties and from our wonderful local farms.
Oakhill Farm closes the Red Barn during the winter and usually doesn’t open again until May (we’ll keep you posted) BUT you can find them as a vendor at the Friday morning Depot Park Farmers’ Market in Sonoma. You can also find Glen Ellen’s Bee-Well Farm at that same market. The farmstand at Flatbed Farm (13450 Sonoma Hwy.) is open every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and during the entire month of April they are hosting special Spring Plant Sales during their open hours. Also, on Saturday, April 22, Flatbed will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for their second annual Spring Event: a day of produce, plants, food, and music – all local! At Steve’s and my place, Two Moon Family Farm, spring is definitely in the air with goat kidding in full swing. You can follow us on Facebook to see photos and video of the little ones.
The buzz from around the bend
Easter is almost upon us and you know what that means? One of our favorite small town traditions is nigh! The Annual Easter Egg Hunt, put on by Glen Ellen Fire in the big open space of the Dunbar Elementary School campus, is scheduled for Saturday, April 15, at 10 a.m. sharp (and I do mean sharp… come at least 20 minutes early to deal with parking and walking in; the hunt lasts only 5-10 minutes!) Immediately following the hunt, stroll over to Dunbar’s teaching garden and enjoy their Annual Garden Anniversary Party and Work Day (from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m). Garden and science enrichment instructors will be on hand to answer questions about the programs, give tours, and direct willing volunteers to tasks needing attention. There will be a table of seedlings, garden-themed goodies, and beverages available for suggested donations. They would be most grateful to anyone willing to roll up their sleeves and put in an hour of work, but stopping in to see what the garden is all about is also highly encouraged.
The next Glen Ellen Forum town meeting will be on Monday, April 3, at 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Dunbar Elementary School. This meeting is open to all Glen Ellen community members (business and residential); please spread the word. Two action items will be on the agenda regarding: 1) the authorization of beginning the non-profit status process, and 2) the formation of a Community Advisory Council. If you have questions about these meetings or the process that is underway, please consult the newly updated website: glenellenca.org.
The Glen Ellen Village Fair Association is putting out a call for raffle item donations to be presented in support of Fair 2017. Gift cards, tickets, lodging or vacation packages, other creative items or experiences are welcome. Contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org. They are looking to have all raffle donation pledges in hand no later than May 5. At least 90 percent of all raffle proceeds are donated each year to local community organizations such as the Fire Department, Dunbar School, Rotary, etc… and thus your raffle donations and/or raffle ticket purchases show your commitment to Glen Ellen and this end of the valley.