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Grassroots Graton - January 2015


Grassroots Graton - January 2015

by Heather Granahan

Sound Off

Just a quick aural update – as promised, the low-flying jets returned to their preferred route as they land at the Sonoma County Airport, one that doesn’t skim Graton’s spires. If you haven’t noticed, it’s because it’s, well, far less noticeable. Instead, I have to again affirm to those that ask annually about those loud intermittent pops in the early morning hours that it is indeed duck hunting season again. We live in the country and folks with large properties and licenses still occasionally provide for their own tables this way. And this year there are more waterways due to all the rain, and myriads of flying populations coming through.

Planet Hydration

So – is Ma Nature trying to fix the drought all at once? What a big blessing. Graton is faring pretty well during the deluges. And really, I wonder if we haven’t become so accustomed to the dry winters that we’ve forgotten our stalwart West County ways of dealing with lots of water and wind. I see signs of it returning – downed limbs and trees dragged and sawed out of the way by folks passing through. And give some love to our local fire departments that have been busy rescuing people who can’t resist driving through moving water across the road ( or speeding on slick roads, or using bad fireplaces. So be a good neighbor, check in on the ditches, clogged drains, and downed limbs but for downed power lines call the big guys in. Keep some water for drinking on hand and some buckets filled in the yard for flushing. Empty them between storms – with temperature spikes, you’ll have a nice mosquito farm. And go mushroom-gazing between showers along our paths and streets!

What the Rain Brings, Indeed

Even if one is not well-versed in the mycological world, one cannot help but admire the flowers of these incredible underground plant networks. Graton emails and FaceBook pages have been exploding with giant brilliant red and white Amanita Muscaria, one of the first mushrooms people notice. The “magic” fairytale mushroom is only one of the varieties found in the town of Graton.  A few of the more lovely varieties I have spotted on our byways and in some cases harvested (only do this if you have been trained well): The gorgeous and provocatively named Clitocybe Nuda, with the comical common name “blewit” due to their astonishing blue-violet color and peachy blush; the Armillaria Mellea or honey mushroom that are often spotted ringing the base of an old apple tree or stump like a ring of paparazzi trying to get a snap of a star; a few Pleurotus types, or oyster mushrooms; and lots of Russullas, with their unspotted rosy red caps and white stems. The world of mushrooms continues to be studied for their healing properties against many dis-eases we face. Studies should also be done on the people in our village, as I continue to be humbled by the ways we ease each other’ ills with food, rides, company and treats.

It’s a Revolution, Cookie

With all the protest and foment on the streets, it is also good to note that revolutions come in many ways. My neighbors head up the Sisters of Perpetual Cookies, who faithfully bake cookies for Food for Thought clients for various holidays.

This holiday season they assembled 392 dozen cookies for grateful clients and staff of Food For Thought. That’s what I call a sweet revolution of kindness! They report absolutely beautiful and tasty handbaked creations – of course they only know this due to diligent rescuing of broken cookies as they packed. We all know those are the “homeopathic” doses” of a whole cooky experience, with a smaller caloric punch (that’s our story and we’re sticking to it).

Their next cookie assembly will be just before Valentines Day, Sun Feb 8 at 1 p.m. If you want to join the list as a baker, donor, or assembler – let Sister Ginger Snap know at Likewise if you’d like to donate funds to help with the cause, or want to bake and need funds to help with the baking. I hope to see you there! I would have joined this time but am wrapped in a sudden and serious health battle. As I write this, I am about to leave this morning for a date with a couple surgeons. I will drift off dreaming of revolutionary cookies, and know I return to a village that supports its inhabitants with traditions both old and new, and a neighborly support system that is rare to witness.  My gratitude abounds and feeds my goals to pay it forward when I am healed. And so the year begins!