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Grassroots Graton - May 2015


Grassroots Graton - May 2015

by Heather Granahan

Spring is really rolling, and like every year, the events start exploding all over the West County calendar like so many apple blossoms. Don’t miss these chances to get out and be convivial with your fellow Gratonians.

Breakfast with Benefits

Sonoma County has a thriving and proud network of VFDs (Volunteer Fire Departments). The Graton Firefighters Association here in Graton is one of the busiest, all volunteer fire company in Sonoma County, no doubt partly due to being on one of the busiest winding traffic arteries in the West County. They respond to 500 calls a year over 27 square miles, providing 24 hour-a-day fire and medical response.

Once a year they throw us all the best breakfast party in the county for a grandly low price, all to benefit their services and community programs like address signs, smoke detector education, holiday toy drive, educational programs at the schools, and tours of the firehouse. Come chow down on all you can eat pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, apple & orange juice, milk, tea and coffee on Sunday, May 17th for ONLY $5 adults/$3 kids. The pancake breakfast is from 7am to noon; avoid the 8:30 to 10:30 busy crush. Better yet, buy your tickets through the mail with that handy flyer you got, and skip the line! There is a generous raffle with prizes from wine to B&B gift certificates, barbeques to jewelry, with hundreds of winners every year. Donate an item or service by calling the association at 823-7939.

Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies 

Our West County-based buddies at Farm Trails outdo themselves again with farmy fun: On Saturday and Sunday, May 2nd and 3rd from 10am to 4pm, Sonoma County farmers will open their gates and barn doors to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at life on the farm in the annual Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies event.

Most of the stops are FREE. All you need is transportation, a map of your route, a cooler to keep your purchases fresh, and a sense of adventure. Graton stops include Gabriel Farms, Andy’s Market, Harmony Farms and more. RSVP at and they will send you the itinerary and maps via email with the big list of stops. 

Taste the ‘hood on the Hill

Sunday, May 17, 2015 is the launch of Taste of West County, a new community event benefiting the K-8 Sebastopol Charter Public School. Spend the afternoon from 1pm – 5pm with the best of West County food, wine tastings, live music, live and silent auctions at Vine Hill House. Yep, that gorgeous venue with sweeping views over on Vine Hill Rd., right across Gravenstein Hwy from the fire department property.

 This zero-waste event will feature food from Peter Lowell’s, Corks, Backyard, Patisserie Angelica, French Garden, Boon, Backyard, Redwood Hill Farm, and others. Taste wines from O’ Connell Vineyards, La Follette, Claypool Cellars, Dutton Goldfield, Paul Matthew, Miramar Estate, Red Car, Russian River, Hook & Ladder, Burnside Road, Cobb wines and more. Bid on restaurant certificates, wine lots, fabulous and fun adventures and more at silent and live auctions. All this for only $40. Register at: All proceeds from Taste of West County will go towards art and education programs at the Sebastopol Charter Public School serving grades K-8 in Sebastopol.

Graton, what Graton?

Am I the only one who has been asked for directions to the Casino by confused people in dawdling cars on the streets of our little town? And no, they don’t mean the esteemed establishment in Bodega run by our dear family friend Evelyn Casini. They mean the big slot and card palace in Rohnert Park. And once while visiting a farm near Rohnert Park, a sprightly gal in a bright yellow luxury SUV and matching pants pulled in and asked for directions to Graton. When the old farmer started getting a faraway look, I volunteered that I lived there and could direct her. “You live at the Casino?” Her groomed eyebrows arched to her tinted coif and I sighed. And led her to the Casino on my way home.