Apple Blossoms Past
Updated: Jun 16, 2019
Once again the famous Sebastopol Apple Blossom Festival has come and gone and we were outta town, but we celebrate the blossoming orchards daily on our walk around the neighborhood. There is a nice Loop that utilizes a P.G. & E. easement to connect the roads and form a loop. Lots of us who live here walk our quiet country lane and some people in the know even drive here to walk the Loop. We try to be welcoming, but to some of the neighbors, these outsiders are a nuisance. There isn't any shoulder on our one lane street for safe parking, and some folks leave garbage and fail to pick up after their dogs. It is a shame that the actions of a few always ruin the enjoyment of it for others but as stewards of nature, we, the residents, pick up empty cans and discarded food wrappers and dog waste on our trips around.
We walk Winnie on the Loop almost every evening, we pass others and nod a brief greeting. We treat everyone the same wether they are residents or just dropping in.
A stroll on the lane that runs along Portuguese Ridge gives you beautiful views of the Santa Rosa Plain to the east and gorgeous sunset views to the west. Originally it was all Gravenstein apple trees on both sides, but lately grapes have taken over. Sonoma County is chock full of vineyards already from Sonoma to Healdsburg to Cloverdale. West County and south towards Petaluma was Dairy and Poultry. And Sebastopol was apples. When the AVA designated the Russian River appellation the vineyards began to move west of the center of Sonoma County but Sebastopol held off the advancement til the sub appellation of Gold Ridge was noticed for producing quality Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays . Grapes grown in the unique conditions of soil, climate and ocean influence became sought after and out went the trees and in came the vines. Taft Street Winery lives out here in the renovated and converted apple processing facility originally owned by the Barlow family and Small Vines Wines grows their grapes surrounding the original Barlow family homestead. These changes to our neighborhood have brought unforeseen consequences but we adjust.
Winnie doesn't see any difference between trees and vines and I try to see it like she does. Tho I miss the acres and acres of open tree lined orchards we were given permission to walk thru, the grapes still have rabbits and coyotes and skunks and possums running thru them for Winnie to track and the vineyards bring beauty in the Fall when the leaves change colors plus a dynamic industry to our very own backyard. There are still orchards where the trees grow right alongside the vines and because of the rule of supply and demand, the apples are worth a pretty penny now.
So the Loop now belongs to the apples and grapes as well as the residents and the visitors who all enjoy the peace and tranquility that remains regardless and we all get along just fine.