Northern California: Capitola, Swanton, Sonoma, Hopland & Redwoods

We are currently traveling through Northern California and I have several great videos that I will post soon. Our respite for now is to hike around the Redwoods National Forest. We have filmed all the places listed in the title. I have been fortunate to meet and interview some unique people who live in parts of California that are stunning examples of sustainability.

Swanton Berry Farm was unbelievable to me. It’s located just off the coast, a few hundred yards and there was a low fog broken by sunlight the Sunday afternoon we passed through the area. The farm is u-pick or you can buy yourself. They make pies, jams, other confections and you pay on the honor system. All employees have health benefits and all berries are organically grown. I stepped into a piece of America as it should be. Small, local, fair, sustainable and it gave me great hope that one our nation will have more places where people can go and buy their food and know the person who grows it.

Swanton Berry Farms, Hwy 1, Northern CA

Swanton Berry Farm

I landed in Sonoma courtesy of Donna that I met through NHNE and she hosted Astra, Stella and me for the evening where we shared a lovely meal of Thai food and toured Sonoma. The town is has a rich history and maintains many historical sites, the plaza being its center piece. The next morning we were headed north and I stopped to video before we left. I hit an amazing cheese shop and got some great footage or so I thought. Later I realized I had turned the video camera off and was not filming. Luckily I saw a lady in purple flitting about on the steps of the Convention Center and something told me she was the one. Sure enough, she was! Pat gave me a great interview and provided information about the area that might be of interest to many.

Pat of Sonoma, CA

My tour of the Solar Living Institute was exciting for me because sustainability isn’t just something I would like to have happen in the United States. It’s how I try to live my life, sometimes in the face of opposing situations, but I still press on towards this type of lifestyle. Meeting Patti, Roby & Sarah was a treat for me. Patti spoke to me off camera about the trip we were making and gave me some advice that stuck with me. She and Roby had made a similar journey years before and while they had not found their ideal spot, in the end it didn’t matter. It’s the process that is important. She was right in the end. After all that happened one thing I ended up with was fearlessness. If you have try and maybe try various jobs, places and even people before you can find the right fit. Being afraid to try is what keeps most people stagnating their whole lives.

Solar Living Institute & REAL GOODS

The Solar Living Institute

Roby & Patti’s Blog 96 square feet

I spent two extra days in northern California than I had originally planned. One, I was tired, two there was much to see, three Astra had made a great friend and did not want to leave. Given all the media attention to the economy in California I was not considering it as a potential spot and as I was there traveling north through Hopland, Ukiah, Cloverdale, Santa Rosa, Willits and Arcata I started wondering why not live here? Everyone is howling about money, but the fact is I’ve never had any or owned a big house and had to live frugally. How is it any different from where I am now except smaller, close to the ocean and mountains with an emphasis on sustainability. However I was surprised at how poor the Crescent City area was give the access to the Redwoods National Park.

This last video is from Trees of Mystery, a privately owned tourist attraction that to me also embodies low impact tourism and maintains the natural resource. We had a great time on this trip even though we were crazy enough to attempt the advanced hiker trail. The advanced portion of this is the steepness of the trail. Still I consider this visit a favorite place and would encourage you to visit it if you are in the area.

Trees of Mystery

Trees of Mystery

One Response to “Northern California: Capitola, Swanton, Sonoma, Hopland & Redwoods”

  1. Shiseido White Says:

    Great article, i hope can know much information About it.

Leave a Reply