I was going through my emails the other morning when I was excited to see my monthly e-mail from SHED in Healdsburg, California. I always savor reading what new classes and events they have planned.
I lived in Healdsburg from 1995 to 2001 when it was still a sleepy town. It is an hour and a half north of San Francisco in the heart of the Sonoma County wine country surrounded by Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley. My youngest son went to elementary school there and played sports and swam in a magical pond in the middle of a vineyard with our Labrador. I have memories of them running on the dock and jumping in together on hot summer days.
While I was perusing SHED’s monthly e-mail and looking at their blog, my friend, Karen, sent me photos entitled “My Morning at SHED.” What a coincidence? She told me that she was talking to the owner, Cindy Daniels, about me – that if I ever moved back to Healdsburg, I would want to live at SHED. Cindy got a laugh out of that and said she would put a hammock in the back garden for me. I may take her up on it one day.
A visit to SHED feels like a fun and friendly tour of what’s happening in food and farming in the region. SHED is a gardening store, restaurant, fermentation bar, market and modern grange.
Cindy described grange halls as follows: “To those unfamiliar with the Grange movement, there’s a rich history that goes back to the late 1800’s when farms formed collectives to create healthier, more resilient communities and built grange halls to provide a place to share ideas and socialize. SHED engages the Grange’s history as both a rural meeting place and farmers’ exchange but is firmly rooted in contemporary Healdsburg. We are a gathering place that celebrates our region’s farmers and makers while tapping into a global community of chefs, producers, and visitors. Our dinners and programs, crafted to revive the Grange traditions of fellowship, conviviality, and exchange, feed a cultural appetite for ideas and interests ranging beyond the realm of food and farming, including art, culture, civic engagement, and community.”
You can participate in their CSA program (community supported agriculture – and art) and pick up a monthly CSA crate featuring whatever is growing fresh at their Home Farm: think – greens in winter, corn and tomatoes in summer as well as such treats from SHED as freshly milled polenta or heirloom beans, a jar of house-made pickled vegetables, a fresh loaf of bread from the ovens, an excellent cheese, or some olio nuevo squeezed from their own olives.
Whenever I am in Healdsburg, I head to SHED to shop. They offer beautiful housewares, pantry provisions and farm and garden tools. I bought a black La Chamba cooking pot from Columbia that is so beautiful, I consider it a work of art and display it in my home when I am not cooking with it.
Cindy believes their fermentation bar may be the only one of its kind in the country. You can choose from house-made kombucha and kefir water or try something called Shrubs. Shrubs are cocktails or soft drinks that were popular during America’s colonial era, made by mixing house vinegars with spirits, water or carbonated water.
This is a lineup of their summer classes:
Saturday, July 25: Summer in a Bottle: Shrub Workshop. Learn to prolong the season by making Shrubs, a refreshing farm drink, with SHED fermentation crafter Gillian Helquist. 11am; $50.
Thursday, July 30: Trash is for Tossers with zero-waste activist Lauren Singer, who ably keeps two years’ worth of waste in a, you know, Mason jar. Free.
At 6pm: Americana Jazz Blues instrumentalists Doug Lipton, Chris Amberger, and Lorca Hart perform live in the SHED café. Free.
Saturday, Aug. 1: Farmers’ Market Tour and Lunch. Great for groups! Take a behind-the-scenes tour of SHED, learn about milling, and enjoy fresh juices before heading over for a guided tour of the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market where we’ll sample foods and meet the farmers. Then, we’ll return to SHED to learn about fermentation and share a private luncheon. 10am; $85.
Saturday, Aug. 16: Root to Leaf Tasting and Signing. Join chef Steven Satterfield, the shaman of vegetable cooking, for a tasting from his new book and a talk on using every part of the plant. 3pm; $30.
Sunday, Sept. 13: Fermented Hot Sauce Workshop. Learn the secrets of creating your own Southeast Asian hot sauce with Lisa Murphy of Sosu Sauces. 1pm; $25.
SHED is the winner of a 2014 James Beard Award for restaurant design.
Thank you Karen for inspiring me this week.
Meanwhile back in the Baja:
The Saturday morning Pedregal Farmers Market is open and the produce was bountiful: Mixed greens, arugula, mustard greens, microgreens, tomatoes, beets, tomatillos, spring onions, cucumbers, fennel, swiss chard, bok choy, zucchini, butternut squash, dill, sage, cilantro, carrots, mangoes, papaya, cantaloupe, organic chickens and eggs.
Flora Farm has opened a very large market and bar in downtown Cabo and it is fully stocked with produce, herbs, fresh bread, cinnamon rolls, meat, eggs and natural skin care products. The bar opens today and they will be serving traditional cocktails, wine, beer and their signature drinks which are a full-range of fruit and vegetable infused specialty cocktails such as the heirloom carrot Farmarita, Flora Farm’s spin on the traditional Margarita, and the Farm Julep made with fresh watermelon juice. It’s located on the corner of Marina Blvd. and Cabo San Lucas Blvd. across the street and up a half block from El Tesoro Hotel.
For those of you not familiar with Flora Farm, it is a ten-acre organic farm in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. Flora’s Field Kitchen is handmade food using farm fresh ingredients. Flora Farm appeared in an article by the New York Times about 52 places to visit in 2015.
Buen Provecho, Akiba