Growing in the Springs – Agua Caliente Firehouse renovation!

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Some time back, when we were meeting in public, folks at a Springs Municipal Advisory Committee were proposing ideas for Springs improvement projects. More pocket parks, and a formal plaza conveying a sense of place were some of the big project visions. The Springs plaza has long been proposed for the area north of the Post Office building, where the Springs farmers market was hosted.

Springs resident Janice Folzman, who had spearheading beautification projects in the area, proposed smaller projects that would beautify an small space, a private or public landscape, and support for local businesses and Highway 12 residents in improving their properties. A few volunteers present, including myself, agreed to meet and discuss potential projects. The Agua Caliente Fire Station (Sonoma Valley Fire Station #3) was chosen as a great visible, gateway project which could also serve to demonstrate firewise landscaping and honor our FIrst Responders at the same time. The Fire Department liked the idea and we planned our design.

On a recent Saturday, Springs Hall volunteers, Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley, and Sonoma Valley Wholesale Nursery staff and owner Paul Martinez met up to install the second phase of the project.

Future additions call for artistic and sculptural features which highlight the importance of this property and its brave workers in keeping our communities safe.

Farmer’s Friend

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As we have been reporting, the Farmer’s Friend program has been focused on supporting essential food distributions by connecting local farmers with those in need. Our local, organic produce is often less available to many in our community, due to cost, access, and education on the value of these products.

Our work with Food For All/Comida Para Todos has been very gratifying, particularly given the support that program has shown the Springs Hall’s efforts, but also from the positive response and generosity of our farmers as well as great community volunteers that make this happen. We will be expanding the program to work in conjunction with our efforts to support and promote local agriculture. To find out more or for ways to participate, contact us at: sonomaspringshall@gmail.com

Farmers Friend, update!

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Ask and ye shall recieve!

We have found that, just by “doing the work”, you will find new opportunities. Thank you to all that have supported this program, including Pauls Produce, Oak Hill Farm, Cannard Farm, Sonoma Garden Park, Food For All, Whole Foods market and community members. The recent distribution was amazing with murdoch cabbage, leeks, sweet and russet potato, baby turnips with greens, carrots, apples, and great community gleaned citrus brought in by Shannon Erickson Lee.

Farmer’s Friend – Funding local food access.

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The Farmer’s Friend program was born out or crisis. The Springs Hall, partnering with local farms, gleaned and distributed over 4000 pounds of local produce to those most in need in partnership with Food For All.

The opportunity to support this effort is here. Please consider a donation so that our farmers can be supported for their admirable work in supporting our amazing Sonoma Valley!

All donations will go to LOCAL farms to provide the best quality produce to households in need.

Checks can be sent to: PO Box 1897 Boyes Hot Springs, CA 95416

Sonoma Overnight Support feeding the Valley!

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Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS) has been operating an essential food distribution kitchen at the Springs Hall since July. The current health and economic crisis has exacerbated difficulties for the homeless population in addition to the struggles facing many at this time. Providing hot meals Monday through Friday out of the Hall’s Rotary Kitchen, this action has allowed the Hall building to remain in community service.

To support SOS and this amazing program, please go to their website at: http://www.sonomaovernightsupport.org

Food For All / Comida Para Todos!

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The Springs Hall has been working with the amazing local support service Food For All / Comida Para Todos, to coordinate collection and distribution with local farms for excess local, organic produce.  Tomatoes were gleaned from Oak Hill Farm, which also gave another generous donation of lemon cucumbers, jalapenos, and apples.  Paul’s Produce added a huge amount of peppers, little gem lettuces, and more.  The Sonoma Garden Park contributed great heirloom apples.  Flowery school garden provided cherry tomatoes, tomatillos and more.

The end result was 110 packages of local organic produce to be added to the large bags of essential that the amazing volunteers for Food For All put together.  This includes staple items – beans, flour, masa – as well as household and safety essentials – soap, bleach, sanitizer, facemasks, hygenic items diapers and more.

If you are interested in supporting this effort or helping with the gleaning and produce distribution the Hall is organizing for this project, contact us at sonomaspringshall@gmail.com

If you would like to volunteer or support with Food For All contact: sfrfund@gmail.com

Find out more at https://sonomaspringsrelieffund.org/

A Local Food Cooperative in Sonoma Valley?

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Thanks to the Sun for running these columns.

This is the #11th and has a very interesting subject close to our interests – food cooperatives!

A local food cooperative in Sonoma County?

Recent happenings at the Hall

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Hi all

What a year so far!
In case you haven’t noticed, the Springs Hall has been actively serving our community during these trying times.  
The Hall has felt these tribulations, with the shut down of activities followed by the unfortunate loss of our great Steward and my friend Terry Mahood, who passed away last month.  We will be dedicating a tree in our new landscape to Terry to honor him for years to come. 
He was a man who saw the value of community service and will be sorely missed.
Many of the events you’ve come to know us for have been put on hold, including the popular pancake breakfasts and other events held by the Hall and our partners and tenants. 
While this has impacted our ability to fund operations and provide service, the Hall has been lucky to partner with Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS).  
Having heard that SOS was looking for space to move their expanded food program, we moved to secure the location as a safe and available facility to serve those most in need.
The result has been a great success, with free community meals being served Monday through Friday at the Hall 9:am-12:pm, hot and well prepared breakfast and lunch served in a safe and professional manner – I have had lunch there several times myself.  Great credit goes to Kathy King, Chef Dan and an amazing group of volunteers. 
With the loss of most Hall activities, we’re launching a program to serve the community outside the building named “Growing in the Springs” which expands on our mission of Healthy Farms, Healthy Food, Healthy Community.
This program seeks to empower and educate our community through the support and creation of community gardens and food production.  We are working to partner with local businesses, nonprofits, and residents to beautify our Springs community.  
In doing so, the Hall seeks community support and partners.  Look for opportunities in the near future to join in this effort, or contact us directly at this email.  
There will be Fun – fundraising events and other ways to be involved in improving our community, and as always, donations are welcome and go directly to supporting these efforts. 
The Springs Hall is a 501(c)3 nonprofit working to support Sonoma Valley agriculture and the Springs community.
Thank you for your presence in our community!