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Sonoma County Gazette
North Coast Winds by Robin Joy Wellman

The Joys of September

Aug 28, 2018
by Robin Joy Wellman


I love September! For me I can just feel that change is around the corner. We start to think about the many fall time events and slow down a little.

September generally has perfect weather for us, usually! While we still have warmth ahead and creek time, we also get to enjoy garden fresh produce everywhere we turn. Farmers markets are at their peak with variety although our amazing weather here in Sonoma/Mendocino County allows us to farm all year long.

I ran into a good friend the other day in Gualala, Jef Schulz, who used to teach while I ran the ELP at Fort Ross. He taught for over 25 years teaching and nurturing many of our youth here on the coast. Jef, who now carries the title of “Farm Curmudgeon”, shared with me about his new adventures with his family farm, Fortunate Farm. I had to write about it. He is loving his life on the farm and I love love everything about what they are doing.

Jef says ‘I feel downright at home on our progressive farm—like we have landed.” Fortunate Farm, an inter-generational family endeavor is 40 acres of pastures, creeks, forest, and a large pond growing totally ‘beyond’ organic heirloom vegetables, berries and flowers in the small town of Caspar in Mendocino County. They are full of passion, heart, and gratitude ‘committed to improving and protecting its beautiful, rock-free sandy loam soil’ while focusing on feeding the community healthy nutritious food, managing carbon footprints, and empowering the community.

Gowan, (Jef and Ellen’s daughter) the Farm Manager, began the partnership with North Coast Brewing before the family farm began, using the leftovers from brewing to create a rich compost. She now brings this unique relationship to the farm which not only feeds their plants but also diverts thousands of pounds of valuable nutrients from municipal waste systems. In turn they supply North Coast Brewing Company’s restaurant, The Tap Room, with fresh produce. Awesome!

Gowan is the Fortunate Farm’s farm manager who grew up around her great grandparents farm long ago. “There is nowhere I would rather be and no one I would rather be working with than my family and North Coast Brewing Co”.Ellen, Jef’s wife, and business manager extraordinaire, is bringing years of talent to the farm creating partnerships and community outreach. Ellen says“Fortunate Farm is much more than our business; it is a special way of life to which we are deeply dedicated, and part of our business goal is to live it fully and richly”.

Lyle is the Farmers Market Coordinator, Allie is the Event Coordinator, and Cameron, and Megan are Farmers. To learn more about this wonderful family farm, the many locations to buy their produce, events you can hold on their land, the carbon farming, camping (where you can participate, enjoy the farm produce, sleep under the stars, and listen to the sounds of the creek and ocean), visit them at

They put everything they had into making a dream come true and we are all ‘fortunate’ to have them in our community and lives. Please reach out to them and support our local community. And one more great achievement from Jef is his new children’s book Camp Grandpa, a sweet story full of fun, adventure, and education of Mother Nature with a worldview. This wonderful book is atFour Eyed Frog our local bookstore at Speaking ofFour Eyed Frog they have many events listed on their website to get you out and enjoy our community, see your friends at art-music-theater-theres-lot-going.

Check out Gualala Art Center, Point Arena theater, Sea Ranch Thespians, andArtistic Expressions Artist Registry are links to check out from this one website. By the way the 6th is ‘Read a Book Day’. Many art openings, music productions, and movie showings are in the works. Point Arena Lighthouse has a few events and a lecture to check out

And Jenner Community Center hosts Fishstock. This is a super fun event for the family, check it out at

This month many things are celebrated including chickens, hats, honey, square dancing, blueberry popsicle, and self-improvement. Of course we have Labor Day this month but we also have “Be Late for Something Day’ on the 5th and the11th is make your bed day.

The 13th is National Positive Day (my birthdate) which is good for all of us to remain positive, along with International Peace Day on the 21st. There are many other fun things to celebrate every day. The most important thing is to find the ‘Fortunate’ around. Blessings to each of you!


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