These were our presenters for the 2019 Fair; look for many of them to return in 2020!
Phaedra Achor, Wild Cocktails & Refreshments | Do-It-Yourself Arena
Phaedra Achor, a Petaluma native inspired to create her own custom bitters in the spirit of Sonoma County’s local, farm-to-table scene. A herbal bitters producer and mother by day, Phaedra has nurtured a long love affair with plants, believing that we can infuse our day with botanicals brews of all kinds. Using her skills at wild foraging and blending flavors, she took it upon herself to craft and perfect her own set of bitters, branching out into other cocktail mainstays—infused syrups and drinking vinegars. With an unrivaled palate for creativity, it is Phaedra’s wish to reintroduce Mother Nature’s esoteric flavors into our everyday lives.
Scott Bice, Goat Milking Demo | Life on the Farm Stage
Nik Dyer, Growing Mushrooms at Home| Do-It-Yourself Arena
Nik Dyer is a passionate practitioner and advocate for ecological agriculture and sustainable living. He has worked on a diverse array of projects over the years, from managing an edible rooftop garden in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco to developing curriculum for a permaculture design course. He currently works with Permaculture Artisans, an ecological landscape design/build company in Sebastopol that helps clients throughout Sonoma County cultivate abundance and build habitat. He has been foraging and cultivating mushrooms for 15 years. His demonstration on Sunday at 4:00 pm in the DIY Arena will be packed with rewarding information on the beginner’s approach to cultivating mushrooms at home.
Miguel Elliott, Building an Earthen Oven for Your Backyard | Do-It-Yourself Arena
Miguel Elliott, knighted as “Sir Cobalot,” is the owner of Living Earth Structures. He has been an avid natural builder for the past 20 years. After spending over ten years of natural building in countries ranging from Argentina, Guatemala, Africa, Thailand and around the US, Miguel Elliott has brought his skills to his hometown of Petaluma, California, a town with a rich history of natural adobe building. Living Earth Structures specializes in leading community workshops, crafting ovens, benches, and small huts. Much of his work can be seen around the county. His latest series of projects are called “Palletable Cobins.” These cobin houses are constructed out of pallets, insulated with straw, and covered in cob. Miguel believes it is an excellent solution for super low-cost, well-insulated housing.
Caiti is the owner/operator of Red H Farm, an agroecological, no-till vegetable farm in Sebastopol. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. In addition to farming Caiti teaches agroecology at Sonoma State University, sits on the board of Petaluma Bounty, and coordinates the annual conference Foundations and the Future: Celebrating Women’s Leadership in the Food Movement. She is a published writer looking at land issues in the food system and has been profiled internationally by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Nationally by American Farmland Trust for her leadership in ecological farming in the United States.
Maya Harjo is an organic gardener and educator dedicated to restoring Native food systems through the revitalization of traditional foodways and the practice of sustainable agriculture. As the Native Foodways Manager for The Cultural Conservancy, Maya applies her experience growing organic food with the direct aim of increasing access to healthy and culturally appropriate food for Native communities. She is Shawnee, Muscogee Creek, Seminole, Jewish and an enrolled member of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma.
Gabe Jackson, Making Hard Cider & Cyser | Do-It-Yourself. Arena
Gabe Jackson has been making cider at home for nearly two decades and advising home cider makers at The Beverage People since 2007. He has spent years working in the hobby world of home fermentation (cider, beer, wine, cheese, etc.), as well as a stretch in commercial brewing at Moylan’s Brewing Company. Under the guidance of homebrew pioneers Byron Burch and Nancy Vineyard, as well as industry expert Bob Peak, he became a Beverage People teacher of home brewing and cheese making classes in 2006. He is a BJCP certified beer judge, and has served in various volunteer positions with local homebrewing and cheesemaking clubs including Treasurer, VP, and President. Gabe is a Sonoma State University alumnus with a BA in History and BS in accounting, and is currently a shareholder and General Manager of The Beverage People.
Melissa K. Nelson is a Native ecologist, writer, media-maker and indigenous scholar-activist. She is the President/CEO of The Cultural Conservancy, which she had directed since 1993, and a Professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University. Her work is dedicated to indigenous rights and revitalization, biocultural heritage and environmental justice, intercultural solidarity, and the renewal of community health and cultural arts. Anishinaabe, Cree, Métis, and Norwegian, she is a proud member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
Joe Pozzi, Sheep: Shearing & Spinning | Life on the Farm
Joe is a fourth generation rancher, livestock producer. He produces lamb, wool and cattle for various markets. He is a community leader dedicated to land conservation and the economic viability of family farms and ranches. Under Pozzi Ranch, Joe markets and sells 100% natural, grass-fed, pasture-raised lambs, year round. Pozzi Ranch also produces and purchases wool from other sheep ranchers on the West Coast to process and sell to natural bedding companies for mattresses, comforters, pillows, and fabric throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, the ranch develops and manages commercial Angus cow-calf operations for the conventional market.
Alisha Reyes, Using Natural Dyes in the World of Fiber Arts | Do-It-Yourself Arena
Alisha has been actively involved in the knitting industry since 2008. After exploring the knitting world for 4 years including pattern designing, she decided she wanted to learn it all and ventured to Washington to learn the process from start to finish. After returning home and teaching at her local yarn shop for 5 years, it became evident that a space needed to be created where people could learn it all. With a background in small business management and a love for gaining & sharing fiber arts, Fiber Circle Studio came into being. In her spare time, she is hanging out with her son, Leland, and slowly working towards a certificate in the TKGA Masters Hand Knitting Program.
Laurie Smith, Raising Backyard Goats | Life on the Farm Stage
Laurie Smith, of Red Rose Half Acre Farm in Sonoma County, has been raising dairy goats since 1992. Her first two goats were Alpines; after trying different breeds, she now raises Nubians for house milk, cheese, and yogurt. Any extra goats are sold as dairy herd replacements, herd sires, or pets.
Daniele Strawn, Farmer Panel | Life on the Farm Stage
Daniele is co-owner and operator of JoLee Blooms & Design, a boutique flower farm, floral design and event planning studio, along with her husband Jeremy. In addition to sustainably growing local flowers without harsh chemicals, JoLee Blooms is committed to environmentally sensitive practices in a highly wasteful event industry. JoLee Blooms is a proud member of Slow Flowers, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and is a founding member of The North Bay Flower Collective.
Ariana Strozzi Mazzucchi, Farmer Panel | Life on the Farm Stage
Ariana is a rancher, zoologist, artist, speaker, master somatic coach, and entrepreneur. She has created several successful businesses and is a pioneer of Equine Guided Education (which incorporates horses and nature into human health and learning models). She has been a major influencer in the Fibershed movement, bringing back the value of wool as the most sustainable and healthy fiber grown for clothing, bedding and home. Her and her husband are passionate land stewards of Casari Ranch, a 408 acre Agricultural Sanctuary, a healing place for humans, animals and earth.
Michael Joshin Thiele, Building Natural Log Beehives | Do-It-Yourself Arena
Michael Joshin Thiele has led the creation of honeybee sanctuaries and refuges since 2007. He is the founder of Gaia Bees, an organization engaged in the research of Apis Mellifera, rewilding programs and new dimensions of apiculture in a sociocultural, agricultural and spiritual context. In 2017, he created Apis Arborea, which is dedicated towards rewilding honeybees and an innovative, holistic apian paradigm. Michael’s pioneering approach to apiculture as a platform for global renewal has appeared in national and international magazines, books and films. He has presented his work at Harvard University and has consulted for the USDA. Michael offers workshops and trainings in apiculture practice in the U.S. and internationally. He lives with his family, and an infinity of bees, in the oak woodlands of Northern California.
Clark Wolf, Panel Moderator | Life on the Farm Stage
Clark Wolf has more than thirty years of experience in the food industry and is founder and President of Clark Wolf Company. Wolf is a member of Linkedin’s Influentials, a columnist for Forbes.com, and has been contributing editor to COOK’S Magazine. He has written a book American Cheeses, about his long history with American artisan cheesemaking and co-edited 101 Classic Cookbooks:501 Classic Recipes. In addition to appearing on CBS Sunday Morning, he has appeared on CNN, the TV Food Network, and as a regular contributor on CNBC’s The Real Story. Wolf has been the creator and host of two broadcast television series, The Food Show with Clark Wolf and The Big Dish. He is currently the host of the weekly radio program At the Table with Clark Wolf. Traveling extensively, he lectures and gives seminars to chefs’ associations, food professionals, cooking students and industry groups from California to Paris on food trends, specialty foods, restaurants, marketing, and restaurant real estate and finance. In 2009, Wolf was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the James Beard Foundation.
Mindy Wright, Making Honey Apple Oatmeal Soap | Do-It-Yourself Arena
Mindy Wright, owner of The Goat Farm in Santa Rosa, CA, started making soap to utilize surplus milk from her herd of dairy goats. She was so smitten by the craft that it quickly transformed from being a hobby to a career changer for her. Her seasonal-based soaps and gift baskets are sold on The Goat Farm website, at craft shows, and on open days at her family’s small farmstead. She also teaches a variety of bath and body product classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and other locations. Mindy is a member of the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild and Sonoma County Farm Trails!