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Our Local Gravenstein Apple Fair—A True Harvest Fair Rooted in History and Community
Almost two years ago I followed Larry to Sebastopol, California to live with his mother after his father died. It just seemed like the right thing to do. Though I was willing to give up my comforts and preferences for him to help take care of Mom, it turned out to be the biggest blessing for ME because this is just the right town for me to be living in.
The first Gravenstein apple orchard was planted in 1883, and apples soon became the major crop of the region. Famed horticulturist Luther Burbank moved here in two years later to create an experimental farm. Of this land he said, "“I firmly believe, from what I have seen, that this is the chosen spot of all this earth as far as nature is concerned.”
While the apple industry no longer thrives, commodity celebrations still revolve around the Gravenstein apple.
In the spring when the apple trees blossom, everyone turns out for the Apple Blossom Festival. The parade is all local businesses and organizations where you'll see everything from vintage tractors to llamas and the ballet class dancing down the street.
In the fall, we have the Gravenstein Apple Fair, which is organized by [Sonoma Farm Trails]=https://www.farmtrails.org/, so it’s all about our local agricultural community. This isn’t a carnival where an industrial business comes in with rides and games where all the money leaves town at the end.
No, it’s local farmers, local restaurants, local businesses, local music, old farm machinery, farm animals and lots of Gravenstein apples. You can buy them by the box, by the bags. in a grilled blue cheese sandwich, fried in fritters, or in pies baked by the members of a local church. It’s a celebration of our community, by and for the citizens of Sebastopol. It’s advertised and visitors from other places come too, but it’s really about celebrating our friends and neighbors and businesses and especially our local food. All under the trees in a local park.
I wrote all about this last year, and I couldn’t improve on what I wrote then so here it is again
Beyond Toxic-Free Industrial Products [This post was one of the reasons I decided to start Lifely—this is what I want to write about.]
I wrote about a Sunday where I spent the morning at my local farm market and the afternoon at the Apple Fair, so you’ll get a good idea of how I live here in a community devoted to organic agriculture.