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Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan - August 2016


Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan -  August 2016

by Heather Granahan

Growing Pains…

About a block and a half from our home on the “South Side” the town, well, ends and fields and copses begin. Nature and town infiltrate each other with trails, coyote howls, yards and wild turkey choruses. Wildlife meanders down the streets. We also share a water table and a small valley that exaggerates our temperature lows and highs. The same microclimate makes good apples and yes, wine grapes. In the fields on the popular stretch of the Joe Rodota Trail leading to Occidental Road, occasionally planted to pumpkins and such. In fact, one appears to be planted to Halloween light fixtures now.

Across the trail, the upper field is apparently being prepped for another vineyard, or so we hear. The dust from the tilling for yet more wine grapes has overwhelmed some neighbors who are asking that proper protocol be followed, and that fumigating the earth before planting be avoided. It’s been quite the fevered pitch about this in some of the emails on our town email group. I attempted to reach the land owner to hear the plans – but the number is fax line. Hey, I remember faxes! I also remember table grapes. Can’t one vineyard farmer put in a field of eating grapes? Think of the children!

Gravensteins Make a Sweet Fair

Sonoma County Farm Trails is a venerable agricultural non-profit that counts among its members many of the growers surrounding Graton. Forty years ago, long before farmers markets and CSAs, they created a map of local farms, inviting the public to meet their food suppliers. They continue to evolve and under the calm direction of Carmen Snyder they present one of the most interesting and fun events in the County: The Gravenstein Apple Fair, “The Sweetest Little Fair in Sonoma County”. It’s really like what a Country Fair could have been like in an earlier century in many ways. Come on down to Ragle Ranch Park in Sebastopol (you can ride a bike from here, fergoshsakes) 10-6 pm on Sat and Sun August 13th and 14th. Check out apple fritters, pies juices being pressed, local foods, cheeses, ciders and wines; lots of music on two stages; animals and old gas-driven gizmos demonstrating the “newest” farm and home helpers; local wool products, crafts and original art. Learn new skills at the DIY workshops, palaver with folks and enter a contest and rest on an oak-shaded straw bale after filling your belly. Do better than that, take a volunteer shift and get admission and a free libation to boot. Otherwise it’s only 12 bobs, a deal for all the learning and boogieing. 

Dance With Us!

Speaking of the art of the boogie, some of you may know my long and sweaty past as a dance performer and teacher of many years, many styles and many venues, including numerous benefits. You may have seen Gypsy Caravan during our sojourn of some 20+ years. I even geeked out on dance in college as one of my majors. A couple threads remained constant for the 30+ years I danced professionally; the popularity of middle eastern belly-dance and Spanish Flamenco, and the amazing women I danced with. One in particular was in my second year of classes as a 14 year-old and we performed, learned and roomed together over the years, even helping deliver each other’s babies as our families grew. TerriAnne now heads the studio and performance space Sirens that we started decades ago. It has traveled from Santa Rosa to Healdsburg and now is located 10 minutes from Graton in the Subud Hall in Sebstopol. She has built an incredible community of dancers and musicians with classes, performances, festivals and bazaars. 

To my never-ending amazement, when TerriAnne heard about my Battle of The Boob she assembled a bevy of dancers and volunteers to throw a big ol benefit for little ol’ me, on Sunday August 21st. The first part of the evening will feature live music and top-flight dancers including Joweh R.A.W. troupe, and then the evening shifts to an all-star dance band led by Evan Morgan playing R&B/Blues/Jazz for everyone to dance. They have a silent auction with amazing finds including a signed Jerry Garcia lithograph, raffle and some locally famous food that I cannot reveal at this deadline. Regardless of supporting me, this will be a memorable night with true pro talent. Check out details by entering “Benefit For Heather” in Facebook or check for this and their other events and classes.

Remember, all notices need to get to me no later than the 15th of the month before publication, Email to me at