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Sonoma County Gazette
Petaluma Perspective by Houston Porter

Lifelong Learning in Petaluma

Jan 5, 2018
by Houston Porter


Rosie Wiggins dreamed of doing more than simply offering delicious and healthy food when she came up with the idea of the Drawing Board restaurant in downtown Petaluma. Having suffered her own health issues prior to opening her health conscious restaurant “The Drawing Board” in downtown Petaluma, Rosie Wiggins became acutely aware of how what we put into and on our bodies plays a key role in our body’s health. To this end, she has started a series of classes, with January introducing guests to the idea of folk medicine. Complimentary wine is offered at both classes.

The first in the series, “Kimchi Making” will be held on Mon, Jan 15, from 5-8pm. “Join the ladies of The Drawing Board as our resident alchemist, Jennifer Grossbard, shares with us the art of Kimchi making-- a tradition that is deeply interwoven with her cultural heritage. Jennifer has taught kimchi classes at the Spiritweavers gathering and is excited to share the craft with her local Petaluma community. We will learn about the health benefits of this ancient Korean ferment and share the hands-on experience of preparing kimchi together. Each participant will go home with a handmade jar of kimchi and the instructions to make it again at home. We will end the class with a shared meal of Korean Tacos around a beautiful communal table.”

The following Monday, Jan 22, from 5-8pm, the Drawing Board offers a class on “Immune Tonics.” “Explore how herbs and botanicals can help promote wellness and vitality. In this hands-on, interactive workshop we will learn how to make a variety of tonics that have long been believed to help the body thrive. From herbal disinfectants to powerful immune boosters, you will learn how to craft your own remedies to keep you healthy throughout the winter! Each participant will go home with a bottle of each hand-crafted tonic. At the end of the class we will sit down for a nourishing dinner together. Snacks, drinks, and herbal cocktails will be available for purchase from The Drawing Board’s bar.”

Music Mondays

Musical Mondays at the Museum resumes in January at the Petaluma Historic Library and Museum with “The Glories of the Baroque”, taught by Kayleen Asbo, PhD., who “is a lecturer for the Santa Rosa Symphony and the San Francisco Opera. A pianist, composer and cultural historian, she is on the faculties of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Pacifica Graduate Institute of Santa Barbara and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at UC Berkeley, Dominical University and Sonoma State University where her classes have been hailed as ‘a revelation’, ‘pure passion’ and ‘an addictive blend of joy and education’. 

Asbo will lead a three week extravaganza of the opulent art and music of the Baroque era of Europe, with live musical performances. Jan 15 is “The Italian Baroque – Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Barbara Strozzi & more”, Jan 22 is “The French Baroque: Marais, Lully, Charpentier, Couperin and Rameau, and Jan 29 is “The English Baroque: From Purcell to Handel.” Enroll at or by visiting the museum’s website.

Cheesemaking Class

Achadinha Cheese Co. is also offering an incredible opportunity to join owner, national award winning cheesemaker Donna Pacheco, as she teaches students all about the art of cheese making on Jan 27 at her ranch out west of Petaluma. “Upon arrival you will roll up your sleeves, put on a hairnet and get your hands wet in a Vat full of curds and whey! You will learn how to use the equipment and see the cheese aging room before being treated to a full ranch tour that includes everything from the Milking parlor to the Loafing barn. Naturally there will be plenty of cheese tasting before lunch in our family party room. This 3 hour class Includes, Hands on Cheese Making, Full Ranch Tour, Animal TLC, and Lunch including wine!” Visit for more info. 

Petaluma Museum - Reciprocal Museum Membership

$125 or higher; receive free or discounted admission to more than 600 museums around the U.S., including Asian Art Museum, de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, Sonoma County Museum, CA Historical Society Museum, Charles M. Schultz Museum, Walt Disney Family Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Crocker Art Museum, and the Nevada Museum of Art.

NARM – North American Reciprocal Museum Association –

COTS (Committee on the Shelterless) has volunteer opportunities on weekday mornings (drivers) and afternoons (cooks to prep and serve dinner.) Some lifting and bending is required. Call the volunteer coordinator at 707.765.6530 ext. 111 for more information.



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