We're back from a lovely two weeks in Northern California, visiting family and friends and drinking wine! From a gardening perspective, we examined the vegetable gardens at some wineries, and took another seed-shopping trip to Baker Creek's "Seed Bank" in Petaluma.
We were a little nervous about returning to our beloved Wine Country given the very recent terrible fires. Would our favorite places still be there?
While there's no way to overstate the devastation in some areas, our favorite and familiar wineries largely came through intact. The fires burned right up to within a few feet of the historic Buena Vista winery, and Chateau St. Jean had some damage to its beautiful buildings and grounds. But mostly everyone else was fine. Here's a picture of the land right behind Regusci Winery. You can see the burned mountainside and the scorched oak trees in the foreground (they might recover).
But the view from Joseph Phelps Winery is as gorgeous as ever.
Out of respect for the victims, I won't show pictures of the burned homes and melted cars. I can't imagine how that feels.
Knowing we were going to visit the Seed Bank, we made a shopping list and I even brought the big catalog to review on the plane. It's a few years old, but still very useful.
A rainy Sunday morning (the only day it rained) was a good time to drive to Petaluma. The Seed Bank is in a former Sonoma County National Bank, robustly built in 1925.
Inside, as always, the selection just takes your breath away.
I was in charge of the vegetable purchases.
The Kitchen Goddess chose the flowers.
We walked out $82.97 poorer, but much richer in spirit! And we got a good headstart on the seed purchases for next season.
If you visit Wine Country, and I hope you do for the sake of the communities, please take a trip to Petaluma. It's a cute little town, with a gardener's bonus!