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Praise for the Gravenstein Apple Fair Supporters


Praise for the Gravenstein Apple Fair Supporters

By Donna Stusser

It has been a few weeks since the Gravenstein Apple Fair however I am still filled with many images and memories of happy children and patient parents. When I took the job as coordinator of the children’s’ crafts I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It had been years since I attended the Fair. Setting up on Friday I bumped into last year’s coordinator. Her serious greeting and foreboding comment of “Good luck” left me a bit anxious. In the end we did run out of supplies and there were moments of overwhelm however myself and a team of wonderful volunteers made crafts with over 800 children in two days. There were flower crowns, wool butterflies, apple stamped bandanas and two beautiful seed mosaics. 

It was a joy to provide these simple opportunities to children and families of all ages.

Many parents went away grateful for new ideas for parties and quality time with their children. Almost all materials were 100% natural as one of my goals was to have very little waste. The trash, which went to the dump, was two small brown bags 800 crafts later.

Another goal was to provide the children with a healthy sensory experience.

For many it was the first time to tease out wool fleece or gather a bouquet of wild fennel, sweat peas and willow. As some were fingering the many seeds offerings for the mosaics

They commented, “ Oh look, lentils like grandmas soup.” 

I want to thank our amazing community for their generosity, which brings me to another goal

I placed on my plate. I wanted to procure as much as possible from local vendors or community members and to give them a chance to help our community.  This made the job so much more real for me. I tried to stay out of the box stores and when I did need them I was not surprised when asked if they wanted to donate to the Fair they gave me their corporate rap. I did not save enough time to go to the top of the ladder and chase down the CEO’s. Next time! 

Our top sponsor was Amy’s Kitchen. Yeah for local good food choices.

These local companies discounted their products and took an interest in our projects.

Dharma Trading Company of San Rafael,

Rupert, Gibbon and Spider of Jacquard Products of Healdsburg

Rosemary’s Garden of Sebastopol

Andy’s Produce (Thanks to Kimmy in the bulk department)

Harmony Farm Supply of Sebastopol

Sebastopol Hardware 

Walker Apples of Graton

Art & Soul of Sebastopol

Worker Bee Farms of Freestone, Osmosis Enzyme Bath, Singing Frog Farms of Sebastopol and Ceres Garden Project for the amazing flowers.

The volunteers were stellar. Thanks to Wendy Krupneck for organizing them.

You could see them beaming when handing the butterfly for the hundredth time and seeing the light in the child’s eyes as they placed the flower crown on their heads. “ You are king for a day.” I heard one say. Thanks to the couple that spent their anniversary afternoon stamping hundreds of apples. Thanks to Iren Barnum and Amy Freeman for drawing the seed mosaic pictures and to other high school students from Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm. 

Thanks to Felicja Channing, Mari Stusser, Ewa Kielczewska, and Roger Marlowe for their time and energy helping me around the edges to keep it all in perspective.

And thank you to Carmin Snyder and the Farm Trails staff and the many apple lovers of Sonoma County who believe in our community and want to preserve its agricultural roots.