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  Cover Story

July 2018
Growing Pains

On a windy Saturday afternoon, the once-bustling Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana is barren, the chairs against the wall sit empty. Two wipe boards show the dispensary’s limited offerings, a pair of glass cases display buds that seem lonely. 

In its heyday, the dispensary boasted 45 strains of marijuana, now it’s down to eight. Tinctures? The shop has two varieties, off from the previous dozen on its shelves. By law the dispensary can only stock products from licensed companies, and the state/local licensing process makes time spent at the DMV seem to whiz by.

 

Feature stories

Vineyards as Firebreaks

When the phone rang at 11 p.m. on October 8 last year, Lyall and Karen Fahden did not yet smell smoke. A friend from nearby Calistoga had called to warn them that a fast-moving fire was heading toward their home and winery. They dressed quickly and drove through their vineyards toward the nearby ridge. As they neared the top, they noticed the silhouette of the mountain was edged with an eerie red glow that pulsed and grew in intensity as they approached. By the time they reached the top and gazed down, it appeared that the entire valley was in flames.


Labor of Love

Growing olives to make premium extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) seems to be more of a calling in the North Bay than a lucrative venture. For those who pursue it, however, producing quality olive oil is its own reward.


The Search for Seasonal Workers

The long days of midsummer are quiet in the vineyards and orchards. The winter pruning and spring suckering are long past, and now it’s nature’s turn to do its part. The next big round of activity is the harvest, but North Bay growers are facing a challenge. It’s increasingly difficult to find enough agricultural workers. The attrition that comes with an aging labor force is one reason, and the high cost of housing in a tight market is another. In addition, immigration issues are having a significant impact, and competition from other industries has the potential to be a factor. The result is a complex problem with no easy answers.


An Everyday Effort

While communities rely on food drives to feed the hungry during the winter, hunger does not end after the holidays. Unfortunately, local food banks must secure enough donations during the outpouring of holiday generosity to last year-round.


Columns

Monthly Features

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NorthBay Perspective


 

In this Issue

Growing Pains

On a windy Saturday afternoon, the once-bustling Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana is barren, the chairs against the wall sit empty. Two wipe boards show the dispensary’s limited offerings,...

Vineyards as Firebreaks

When the phone rang at 11 p.m. on October 8 last year, Lyall and Karen Fahden did not yet smell smoke. A friend from nearby Calistoga had called to warn them that a fast-moving fire was heading towa...

The Search for Seasonal Workers

The long days of midsummer are quiet in the vineyards and orchards. The winter pruning and spring suckering are long past, and now it’s nature’s turn to do its part. The next big round o...

See all...