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Penngrove Station by Lyndi Brown -June 2016


Penngrove Station  - June 2016

by Lyndi Brown

“I am Summer, come to lure you away from your computer...come dance on my fresh grass, dig your toes into my beaches.”  – Oriana Green 

Stone Fruit Season

Making jam doesn’t have to be a canning affair. Just try a small quantity, refrigerate it and use it up within a week or two. If it doesn’t “jell”,  pivot and call it ice cream sauce.  I froze a peach jam that didn’t firm up, and blissfully used it on ice cream, pancakes and as a yogurt add-on. I admit to straight off the spoon, too.

What about Peach Crisp? Just follow your favorite Apple Crisp recipe, perhaps with more thickener (flour, cornstarch, tapioca). 

If you seek guidance, Google Mark Bittman plus How to make Jam to learn the theory behind it, and you’ll be on your way. Or look at

It was many years ago (early 80s?), but I actually won a Second Place ribbon at the Sonoma County Fair for my Peach Pie. I gathered organic Freestone peaches from the farm up the hill from “downtown Freestone”. On baking day I got up with the sunrise to bake before going to work. I marched to my own drummer, using little, if any, sugar – the fruit was so delicious. 

I drove into town to enter my pie, which was hard to give up, I can tell you! When the day came to learn results, I was pleased to see the Second Place ribbon on my pie, until I realized they didn’t award a First that year. What?! I read the index card written by the judges. The handwritten pencil scrawl said: “Crust a little soggy. Filling slightly sour.” 

It was a prize-winning pie, with a hint as to why I am flexible about the outcome when stone fruit is involved. 

It’s June – let it dribble down your chin. During the first week of June, customers come out in droves to get apricots, and the first picks of peaches and nectarines from the Fruit Group at 632 West Railroad Avenue. School is out and parents want healthy snacks. Canning customers come out of hibernation, ready to stir and boil. Judy Llewellyn takes telephone orders for lugs or half-lugs of delicious fruit from her family’s farm. It’s an old-fashioned system. You call ahead to reserve your boxes, then pick them up at 632 West Railroad Avenue (between Old Redwood Hwy. and 101). Call Judy at (707) 795-5169.

School is Out – Mentors are In

Students of Penngrove Elementary School have a two-week break starting June 3rd, and return on June 21. But there’s no vacation for the Mentor Me program. Site coordinator Sarah Keiser writes: “Hello Penngrove community! There are still 5 Penngrove students waiting to meet their Mentor at Penngrove. Becoming a Mentor is an incredibly rewarding and inspiring experience. When you become a Mentor you have the opportunity to change a child’s life. But you also have the opportunity to have a child change your life. Your Mentee brings with them a story and experiences that will enrich your life and broaden your horizons. Please, if you have an extra hour a week contact Sarah Keiser and become a Mentor. Make a difference in a child’s life today! Email or call 707-332-5969.

The Garden & Environmental Education Program is planting summer crops and mulching for water savings. Volunteers are welcome, and the wish list includes: pea and bean trellises, topsoil for raised beds, path chips, and compost. To donate, call the school office, 778-4755.

Penngrove Celebration – July 2-3

Penngrove goes all out, and you can join in. On July 2 breakfast is served by Rancho Adobe Fire District from 7 to 11 am at the fire station at Main and Old Redwood Hwy. On Sunday, July 3 it’s the 40th (I think) annual  “The Biggest Little Parade” at 11 am, followed by fun in the park. Tasty old fashion pit beef Bar BQ and Stan’s BQ chicken. There are craft booths, games, and music by Charley Baker. Proceeds from Sunday events support improvements to the Penngrove Park by Penngrove Social Firemen. p.s. Sorry, no dogs (per County health code); outside food & drink are not permitted in the park on Sunday. 

Please email your Penngrove news or idea by the first week of each month. 

I’d love to hear from you!