Meanwhile, we spent the day learning about heirloom tomatoes from a local grower and hybridizer, finding such interesting varieties as Berkeley Pink Tie-dye. Chuck and Felicia came to the class to learn more about how to grow great tomatoes. We shall see if the advice improves our tomato crop this year. We have so many small plants that we will need to host a tomato festival in September.
After "class" we went with friends Craig and Millie to Sonoma County to hike in one of the state parks, hoping to see birds and wildflowers. We saw turkeys taunting us because they seemed to know that they were in a protected zone and no spring turkey hunting season applied to them.
There were some early wildflowers, but they seemed a bit confused by the weather that has been very warm, then freezing, now wet, and finally a day of sun.
Views from the Sugarloaf Peak trail are stunning. In such an intensely farmed region, there were only a couple of hillside vineyards visible from the trail, and none from this view looking over the Sonoma Valley north of Kenwood.
There were wildflowers and lichens:
I was struck by the color contrast of the madrones and manzanitas in this greenscape. Ireland must be as lush and green as this landscape. But clinging to the hills are also these richly colored California natives.
Please forgive the formatting anomalies. "Scribefire" and blogger are both being difficult.