Shone Farm fun

Festival goers make a beeline for the U-Pick patch.

Erin George, Staff Writer

With the smell of BBQ wafting through the air, Shone Farm’s Fall Festival kicked off Saturday, Oct 8.    

Shone Farm, Santa Rosa Junior College’s 365-acre agricultural laboratory, sits in the heart of the Russian River valley about 20 minutes from the main campus. It’s home to 120 acres of redwood forest, 70 acres of vineyards, 100 acres of pasture, and four acres of fruit trees, as well as agriculture, wine-making and equine studies programs.

Organizers have held the festival for more than five years. “This has been the best yet!” said Kathy Charlton, a Shone Farm employee. 

A diverse crowd of students and families gathered for garden tours, face painting, student demonstrations and the sounds of a local seven-piece band. An apprentice farrier hammered away on horseshoes, and children were delighted to watch the sparks fly.

As the sun warmed the fields, visitors checked out the U-Pick vegetable patch, where rows upon rows of heirloom tomatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes were ripe for the picking. Everything for sale was grown or made by SRJC students.

All around, excitement levels were high. Santa Rosa resident Chris Miller said, “We bring our children every year and can’t wait for the next one.”