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Posts Tagged: Sonoma County

The Bees of Bodega Head

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, returning to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

There's more to Sonoma County's Bodega Head than the stunning views, crashing waves, nesting seabirds, and bursts of flora and fauna. The sand cliffs are also the...

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, returning to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, returning to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, returning to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, edges closer to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, edges closer to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, edges closer to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A bee-ant encounter: The  digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, encounters an ant, Formica transmontanis, as identified by ant specialists Phil Ward and Brendon Boudinot of UC Davis. Both species nest on the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A bee-ant encounter: The digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, encounters an ant, Formica transmontanis, as identified by ant specialists Phil Ward and Brendon Boudinot of UC Davis. Both species nest on the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A bee-ant encounter: The digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, encounters an ant, Formica transmontanis, as identified by ant specialists Phil Ward and Brendon Boudinot of UC Davis. Both species nest on the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, excavating a nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, excavating a nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, excavating a nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Four digger bees, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, appear in this image at Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Four digger bees, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, appear in this image at Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Four digger bees, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, appear in this image at Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A view from Bodega Head. Most tourists are unaware of the digger bees that inhabit the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A view from Bodega Head. Most tourists are unaware of the digger bees that inhabit the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A view from Bodega Head. Most tourists are unaware of the digger bees that inhabit the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 3:01 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Natural Resources

Handing Over the Bees!

Beekeeper-scientist Randy Oliver of Grass Valley gestures during his presentation. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Beekeepers circled biologist Randy Oliver, commercial beekeeper, scientist, writer and educator, as he held court in the apiary of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research...

Beekeeper-scientist Randy Oliver of Grass Valley gestures during his presentation. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Beekeeper-scientist Randy Oliver of Grass Valley gestures during his presentation. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Beekeeper-scientist Randy Oliver of Grass Valley gestures during his presentation. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Randy Oliver hands over bees to beekeeper Ettamarie Peterson of Petaluma, a member of the Sonoma County Beekeepers' Association and the Western Apicultural Society. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Randy Oliver hands over bees to beekeeper Ettamarie Peterson of Petaluma, a member of the Sonoma County Beekeepers' Association and the Western Apicultural Society. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Randy Oliver hands over bees to beekeeper Ettamarie Peterson of Petaluma, a member of the Sonoma County Beekeepers' Association and the Western Apicultural Society. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Beekeeper Etta Marie Peterson displays a handful of bees as a cell phone photographer captures the moment. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Beekeeper Etta Marie Peterson displays a handful of bees as a cell phone photographer captures the moment. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Beekeeper Etta Marie Peterson displays a handful of bees as a cell phone photographer captures the moment. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush, what's a handful of bees worth? Ettamarie Peterson, Petaluma beekeeper and member of the Sonoma County Beekeepers' Association and the Western Apicultural Society, displays a handful of nurse bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
If a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush, what's a handful of bees worth? Ettamarie Peterson, Petaluma beekeeper and member of the Sonoma County Beekeepers' Association and the Western Apicultural Society, displays a handful of nurse bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush, what's a handful of bees worth? Ettamarie Peterson, Petaluma beekeeper and member of the Sonoma County Beekeepers' Association and the Western Apicultural Society, displays a handful of nurse bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017 at 5:13 PM

Celebrate the harvest - visit a farm

All over California, farmers are harvesting the last summer crops, picking apples, crushing grapes, and watching pumpkins ripen. All over California, farmers also welcome the public to enjoy family-friendly harvest festivals, education and entertainment. To help urban and suburban Californians connect with local farms and agricultural events, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) hosts the UC Agritourism Directory.

Here is a sampler of harvest season fun on the farms this month:

Apple Hill Growers' Association - El Dorado County

About 50 years ago, when a pear blight destroyed the pear crop in the El Dorado County foothill region near the small town of Camino, UC Cooperative Extension pomology specialist and farm advisor Ed Delfino worked with local growers to save their ranches. They began to plant apples, formed the Apple Hill Growers' Association and started inviting their neighbors from the valley to visit the farms for fresh apples and fun. Since the time of the group's first apple press and press picnic in 1964, the original ranch marketing association has blossomed into a very successful ranch marketing endeavor.

Today, Apple Hill includes over 55 ranchers, including Christmas tree growers, wineries, vineyards and a spa. For 50 years, Sacramento region families, along with those from the east side of the Sierras, have made a tradition of driving up Highway 50 to enjoy picking apples, drinking wine, arts and crafts, pies, jams, jellies, music, and other activities. Visitors will find their day filled with old-fashioned fun. 

The ranches are now open, with U-Pick orchards, entertainment, crafts, food and events at multiple locations.  Learn more at www.applehill.com/.

For current information, download the free official Apple Hill™ app available through itunes or in the Google Play Store.

Oak Glen Apple Growers Association - San Bernardino County

Oak Glen is where the Apple Hill growers visited to learn how to share their apple harvest with the public, back in 1964. One of the most scenic spots in Southern California, Oak Glen is nestled in the heart of Apple Country, where it is cooler in the summer and winter offers snow. An hour or so from Los Angeles or Palm Springs, the 30 members of the Oak Glen Apple Growers Association offer a pleasant day trip or weekend away from town.

Visit orchards, pick fresh apples and drink fresh-pressed cider, and enjoy hot apple pie and other fresh baked apple treats at one of the family restaurants. Other attractions include an animal park, the Wildlands Conservancy, horse drawn wagon rides, the historical Oak Glen School House Museum and many activities offered by the different farms.

For apple picking and other fun: www.oakglen.net/

Grape Stomping, food, drink and fun in the Capay Valley, Yolo County - September 19, 2015

The 5th Annual Capay Crush will take place on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the beautiful Capay Valley, with a full slate of activities for all ages, including live music from Hot City Jazz and Dirty Cello, wine tasting, local food and grape stomping. Attendees are invited to camp overnight in the farm orchards. Event proceeds benefit the Kathleen Barsotti Non-Profit for Sustainable Agriculture (KBNP).

Guests can step into a vat of grapes and stomp until their feet are purple. Visitors can also ride the farm's tractor tram, enjoy free honey and olive oil tastings, take part in grape-themed activities and crafts, visit the petting zoo, and take a self-guided walking tour of Capay Organic. 

Tickets are on sale now through Sept. 17, for $15 per person (children ages 12 and under are free) or 4 tickets for $50. After Sept. 17, tickets will be sold at the farm for $20 per person. Guests can also camp overnight at the farm in the orchards. Campsites can be reserved in advance for $35 each at www.capaycrush2015.eventbrite.com by Sept. 17 (admission not included). 

To purchase tickets, go to: www.capaycrush2015.eventbrite.com. Call 1-800-796-6009 with any questions.

Work Day & Barn Dance at Pie Ranch by the coast - Pescadero, September 19, 2015

Pie Ranch is a small working farm by coastal Highway 1 that cultivates a healthy and just food system, from seed to table. Celebrate the spirit of community at this monthly ritual of touring or working together on the ranch, sharing locally grown food, and then spinning, laughing and dosey-doing together into the night. 

RSVP for the work day and/or barn dance by emailing simone@pieranch.org.  Private groups of more than 10 are encouraged to schedule a separate tour/program with the farm as they are attempting to keep the dance open and accessible to the greater community. 

The work day begins at 2 p.m. Park past the roadside barn and check in at the roadside barn. The tour begins at 4 p.m. Entry is $10 to 20 per person, charged on a sliding scale. Pay at the Roadside Barn. A potluck dinner begins at 6 p.m. The event is alcohol free. The barn dance is from 7 to 10 p.m. Entry is $12 to 20 (sliding scale).
Children under 12 are free. More information on the work day and barn dance here. 

News flash from Pie Ranch: "We planted the tomato plants in the spring and now we are up to our ears in tomatoes! While the summer bounty lasts, we will be holding our Cherry Tomato U-Pick everyday! Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., you are welcome to stop by the ranch and pick cherry tomatoes right off the vine!

Weekend Along the Farm Trails - Sonoma County - September 26 & 27, 2015

On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26 and 27, 2015, Sonoma County farmers will open their gates and barn doors to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at life on the farm.

Most of the stops are free.

All you need is transportation, a map of your route, a cooler to keep your purchases fresh, and a sense of adventure!  Register now for your chance to

~ Explore Sonoma County's vibrant agricultural community.
~ Experience life on the farm behind the barnyard gates.
~ Meet your farmers, vintners & artisan producers.
~ Enjoy tastes, tours, & demonstrations fresh from the source.

Please note that some farms are only open one day. Feel free to contact the organizers with questions: farmtrails@farmtrails.org.

Please let the organizers know how many people will be in your car by selecting the corresponding number of tickets.  Register now 

Bloomingcamp Ranch Harvest Festival - Oakdale - September 26 & 27, 2015


Admission is free for this small farm festival near Modesto. Bring the family for live entertainment, chef demos, hayrides, games, kids art patch, pie eating contest, petting zoo, local arts and crafts and a car show. It all happens at Bloomingcamp Ranch, 10528 Highway 120, in Oakdale. For more information: www.bloomingcampranch.com or (209) 847-7437

Farm and Ranch Tour in the Sierra foothills - Mariposa County - September 26, 2015

The Mariposa AgriNature Association invites you to enjoy the bounty of their beautiful foothills. Experience the diversity of California's Sierra Foothills near Yosemite National Park.

The 2015 farm and ranch tour features four farm and ranch locations, along with a special display of the UC Master Gardeners near downtown along the Creek Parkway. Each location will showcase their unique agricultural operations, and vendors and artists will be set up as well.

Tickets are $10 per person, or $25 for a whole car. Kids under 12 are free when accompanying a paying adult. Tickets may be purchased at any tour location and are good for all locations. website/more info

Hoes Down Harvest Festival - Capay Valley, Yolo County - October 3 & 4, 2015

Join 5,000 festival attendees and 200 volunteers on the 300-acre organic Full Belly Farm for a full day, or a weekend, of fun, music, activities and education for all ages.

On Saturday, enjoy live music, circus performances, kids arts and crafts, a kids hay fort, contra dancing, agricultural workshops, farm tours, good food, a crafts fair and farmers' market, and more music. The silent auction features a range of affordable treats.

Camping is available on Saturday night in the walnut orchard, with breakfast and longer workshops and activities offered on Sunday.

All of the proceeds from the Hoes Down Harvest Celebration go to non-profit organizations that support sustainable agriculture and rural living.

Admission Prices:
Adults: $20 when purchased online – $25 at the gate.
Children (2-12): $5
Under 2: Free
Saturday Night Camping: $25 per car – No reservations needed.
website, tickets, more info


For more info about these events and more California farms and ranches to visit, see www.calagtour.org

Author: Penny Leff

Posted on Friday, September 11, 2015 at 9:20 AM

Bee-Helpful Cover Crops in Vineyards

Honey bee foraging on mustard, a good cover crop for bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Kathy Kellison is on a mission: to encourage winegrape growers to plant “Bee-Helpful Cover Crops.” This would include mustards, clover and buckwheat, plants that...

Honey bee foraging on mustard, a good cover crop for bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee foraging on mustard, a good cover crop for bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee foraging on mustard, a good cover crop for bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Upside down honey bee on mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Upside down honey bee on mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Upside down honey bee on mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Squatters' Rights

Fly-In

Squatters' rights. A dandelion poking through the rocks near Nick's Cove on Tomales Bay, in Marshall, Sonoma County, seemed an unlikely host for squatters' rights. It first...

Fly-In
Fly-In

HOVER FLY, from the family Syrphidae swoops down on a dandelion claimed by a sweat bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Two's Company
Two's Company

TWO'S COMPANY--A tiny sweat bee and a hover fly share the same dandelion. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

On the Rim
On the Rim

POLLEN-PACKING sweat bee (top) prepares to leave the dandelion to the much larger hover fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Alone
Alone

ALONE, the hover fly nectars the dandelion flower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009 at 5:39 PM
Tags: dandelion (1), hover fly (19), Lasioglossum (6), Sonoma County (3), sweat bee (18), Syrphidae (8)
 
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