Kosmic Kitchen's Herbal City Guide: Sebastopol, CA
We're excited to continue our series dedicated to all things herbal in some of our most favorite places! Sebastopol, was the hub of West Coast Herbalism in the 70's and could still be considered so. There are so many amazing herbal teachers and practitioners that live here, or have lived in the area and its no secret why. Nestled just a few miles from the coast, this tiny town has everything we love about the bohemian lifestyle---redwoods, the Pacific, wild herbs, organic farms, scenic back country roads (minus the pot holes), a dynamic food community and of course, hella herbalists!
We couldn't include all of our favorite places, since there are just so many. But these are our go-to spots that any plant folk should plan on making a visit to while in the area.
The Nectary | This is one of the busiest spots in town come summertime. There's an array of fresh organic juice, adaptogenic smoothies + elixirs when you need some cooling down from those dry hot days. Some of our favorite treats are the Rasa warm mushroom tonic with rose and the High Kicks which is a blend of fresh cashew milk, cold brew coffee, dates + salt.
Sebastopol Farmer's Market | Every Sunday the town's square is buzzing with fresh produce, food stands + music. Its a pretty magical place to see the vast community of farmers, growers, bakers + makers and take home a basket full of goodies for the week. One of our favorite stops is George who runs Earthworker Farm and produces THE BEST sprouts, salad mix + flower sprout mixes you've ever seen. Another reason to go is to visit our favorite Japanese ceramicist, Hiroko Ishida. Her displays are always this interesting mix of pottery + little foraged branches, flowers or the fruit thats in season. Needless to say, I want one of everything she makes. Her pieces are wabi-sabi perfection.
Peter Lowell's | You can find my boyfriend and I enjoying a meal here weekly. They've always got a delicious farm fresh breakfast and their macro-bowl is a mainstay for a healthy lunch. Their produce comes from their own farm, Two Belly Farms, and they also source their proteins, breads and fruit for desserts from the county as well. Its always good and the organic + biodynamic wine selection is on point.
Ramen Gaijin| Who doesn't love a pipping hot bowl of ramen? Its hard to get a table if you don't make a reservation for dinner here. Its not hard to see why when there's so much care that goes into each dish. The ramen broth is a three day process and the noodles are homemade. If you go, order the gyoza + a seasonal fruit shrub or a boozy punch served in a ceramic vessel topped with an assortment of edible flowers. Its almost too pretty to drink!
Rosemary's Garden | Right in downtown Sebastopol, you'll find Rosemary Gladstar's original herb shop, founded in the early 70's. Its our go-to spot for dried herbs, herbal powders or any herbal supplies we need in a pinch. The staff are so knowledgable and always willing to chat about their favorite products and remedies.
The Dhyana Center | This is the community self-care space, located right on Main Street. Here you'll find an herbal apothecary bar with kefir root beer floats, wellness shots + elixirs for balancing each of the doshas. You can take a yoga class, an Ayurvedic program or study with the many teachers that are here seasonally, sharing their offerings with the community. Best of all there is a treatment center where you can receive Ayurvedic massage + body work, pulse readings or community clinics. Our favorite ritual is enjoying the self-care center to take a nice hot epsom salt bath, a steam sauna and chilling out on the bio-mat to soak in all the relaxation.
Sonoma County Herb Exchange | What would we even do without the Herb Exchange? This is one of our most beloved places and is run by our magical friend, B.J. Avery. The herb exchange plays a crucial role in connecting herb farmers with consumers, medicine makers + practitioners. They source fresh medicinal herbs from around the county and make theme available for purchase by the pound. Since there are so many microclimates in West County, its hard to find the space or the right conditions to grow all the medicine you'd like to. So, having them connect the dots and build this web of growers (which we need way more of!) is quite important for herbalists in the county and throughout the country, really. Pick ups for your herb orders are every Tuesday during the season.
California School of Herbal Studies |Another important pillar of the community started by Rosemary Gladstar, Emerald Valley is located about 15 minutes out of town in Forestville. Its one of the oldest schools of herbal education in the country and many an herbalist flock from all over to attend their famous Roots Program. Summer attended in 2014 and was lucky enough to live in a yurt right in the Valley. For more info on programs + classes visit their website.
Shop + SEE
Kitty Hawk | We love this art gallery + shop run by artist Grace Levine. She has the best taste and everything is always curated with the perfect blend of vintage home goods + sustainable brands from around the country. I'm always popping in to find something special for a friends birthday.
Lucky Mojo | A magical hidden gem, perfect for anyone seeking some supernatural guidance. Its tucked away but once you get there, you know you've found the right place. If you don't believe in magic, you will after stepping out of this spot! Summer and our friend + fellow herbalist Alina, bought be a sacred candle to do a ritual with so I could call in a partner and within in 3 weeks, I had called in my entire list! It was pretty serendipitous and I'm not guaranteeing that will happen for everyone, but I've never forgotten this spot because of it.
Green Valley Farm + Mill | I've been telling everyone about our CSA because it is the best part of my week. Two very special friends of ours, David and Kayta, run the farm and their intention for creating nourishing beauty can be felt in everything they grow. I love how they've set up the CSA from being a box you get filled with produce to a 'fill your bag with what you'd like' approach. There's also a you-pick spot where you can clip fresh herbs, flowers, peppers, strawberries + tomatoes. Aubrey also does a A-2 Jersey milk share, so we have access to the best raw dairy around. If you're in the area, sign up for their 2018 season. You won't regret it.
New Family Farm | Another amazing farm run by our friends Adam + Ryan supplies restaurants and stores with local organic produce. Meggie, Adam's wife, first met Summer at the California School and we've all been friends ever since. Keep an ear out for an herbal dinner party we'll be apart of along with other herbalists, foragers + cooks in the area that will be held at their farm this spring.