by Ree Slocum
This update is not comprehensive, and only reflects what we know at the time of printing.
Backbone Vineyard and Winery: For Eric Kaster and Sattie Clark, most of their 14 acres of vineyard, winery, and award-winning bottled wines were lost. They’re hoping that the old, deeply rooted vines planted by Paul Dolan in the 1980s will sprout this spring and regenerate. Their home and the workshop for their decorative lighting business (eleekinc.com) survived.
Bob Gates Organics: The family home and Bob’s years of saved seed were destroyed, but the gardens were saved. Bob will continue delivering produce to restaurants and markets throughout the area as he rebuilds.
Floodgate Farm: Bill Taylor and Jaye Moscariello lost their entire apple crop and 30% of their garden in an earlier fire (see Fall 2017 issue of Word of Mouth). They were able to save their house in the Redwood Valley Complex fire.
Frey Vineyards and Winery: The winery facility with tasting room was destroyed. All of the homes burned, but all family members and staff are safe. The main house and insulated warehouse storing their cased goods are fine as well as the stainless steel wine tanks and most of the crush pads. They lost about 10% of their estate vineyards.
Mendocino Meats: Only 200 acres of the mostly wooded 2000 acres survived. Of that, most of the olive orchard and fruit orchard are intact, and buildings and livestock were all saved. They’ll be able to continue providing pork to the Golden Pig in Hopland, Ukiah Co-op, Bay Area restaurants, and individuals.
Rancho Mariposa and Moon Dance Ranch: These two ranches of 160 acres each lost acres of forest, homes, and outbuildings. Rancho Mariposa’s large “pig palace,” where they now house the sheep, was spared. No livestock were lost. While the fire did hit the apple orchard, some of the trees might survive. Moon Dance Ranch hosts events around land stewardship and Climate Change. It is starting Mariposa Rural Resilience Ranch. They have a www.youcaring.com crowd funding account.
Ridgewood Ranch Beef: Brian Bartholomew supplies beef to the Ridgewood Ranch Church Group and calves to Mac Magruder in Potter Valley. A lot of the ranch’s forest burned. About two-thirds of the 1800 acres available for grazing burned. They’re culling some of the cattle early and supplementing with hay until the calves are mature enough for sale.
WAYS TO HELP: Volunteers coordinated through NCO (North Coast Opportunities): (707) 456-9005 & www.ncoinc.org. Monetary donations accepted by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County: (707) 468-9882 & www.communityfound.org.
Word of Mouth will be following recovery efforts and how to help as the affected areas move forward, particularly for agricultural and food businesses.