‘Tis the Season for Giving!


If you’ve got a little time to give, there are lots of ways to share it, right here in our own community. Napa Valley residents are a diverse, talented and very charitable bunch and whatever your talents or interests, there’s a volunteer opportunity just waiting for you.

The annual Season of Giving event supporting needy American Canyon families still needs volunteers. Volunteers are needed to pack and wrap food boxes this Saturday, Dec. 19 from 3–7 p.m. and organizers also need sponsors for the event. If interested in volunteering or supporting the Season of Giving event, contact Brian Farmer at 731-2148 or email him at bfarmer@farmersagent.com.

If you’re interested in helping out at the Napa Valley Food Bank, you can volunteer Mondays through Wednesdays, to help run the storehouse and stock the small store where low-income families come to access their monthly allotment of food. Earn some good karma points while helping folks who need a little help to make sure they have enough to eat, not just at the holidays, but all year long.

If you’d like to spend your time helping the environment, the Native Plant Society is always looking for volunteers who share their passion for native plant species. Even if you don’t know a lot about plants, they’re happy to share their knowledge with you, in exchange for your time and talents; whether on a monthly basis or just helping out with their bi-annual sales at Skyline Park.

Another way to benefit the environment by sharing your time is helping the Land Trust of Napa County restore habitat and remove invasive species. They have regular workdays on Saturdays, in addition to special trips to the Foote Botanical Preserve on Mount George and the Linda Falls Preserve. They’ll provide the tools, gloves, instruction and a snack. All you need to bring is water, clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, and close-toed sturdy shoes. Volunteers can even opt for a hike to the waterfall after each workday!

If you like helping animals, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities with the Napa Wildlife Rescue. Be on call to rescue injured and orphaned wildlife and transport them to care. Whether you’re interested in reuniting songbirds or re-nesting raptors, you’ll learn about Napa’s wildlife first-hand. You must be over 18 and have your own car. Training is provided.

If you love animals and you want to help kids, there’s a very special local program that’s helping kids with disabilities, called the Cornerstone Assisted Riding & Equitherapy (C.A.R.E.). Volunteers provide support and encouragement for the students and help take care of the horses. As a volunteer, you’ll attend ongoing trainings, beginning with orientations to the facility, session protocol, and safety procedures. Volunteers are also needed to help in the office with newsletters, fund raising and community outreach.

Serve up local love this holiday season!

In the spirit of celebrating locally grown, sustainable food, we’ve curated a selection of locally-inspired, healthy and hearty recipes to make this year’s holiday feasts tastier and more sustainable than ever before! We hope these recipes inspire you to support the Napa local food system by shopping and cooking local this season. Click below to download a pdf and visit our Find Food page to learn more about local food resources.


Nominate an Agricultural Leader in Your Community to be one of the “Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives”!

Honorees will have the opportunity to share their stories and inspire us with their vision throughout the Farm Credit centennial year in 2016 and beyond. Ten distinguished honorees — one from each nomination category — will receive a $10,000 award to help further their contributions to rural communities and agriculture. These ten honorees and a guest also will be invited to Washington, D.C. to participate in a special recognition event in 2016. Nominations are accepted through December 18, 2015, with the winners announced in March 2016. To learn more, click here.

More Buzz on Keeping and Saving Bees!

Pollinators like Honeybees are responsible for a lot more than just honey, they are vital to sustainable agriculture, and pollinate at least 90 different crops in North America. It’s estimated that they directly impact 35% of the world’s agriculture. To find lots of resources on beekeeping, including links and videos, check out America’s Heartland, on television or on the web. To learn more, click here.

Just Eat It! A documentary

We all love food and it shows in the way we devour cooking shows, culinary magazines and foodie blogs. Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm to retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. “Just Eat It” looks at our obsession with expiration dates, perfect produce and portion sizes, and reveals the consequences of those choices around the globe. Bringing together farmers, retailers, inspiring organizations, and consumers in a story that is equal parts education and delicious entertainment. To learn more, click here.

USDA and EPA Set Historic Goal to Cut U.S. Food Waste

The Obama administration recently announced the Country’s first-ever food waste reduction goal: to reduce food waste in America by 50 percent by 2030. To reach this goal, the USDA and EPA will be leading a new partnership with the private sector; charitable and faith-based organizations; and local, state and tribal governments. To learn more, click here.

Can We Learn to Love Ugly Vegetables?

Did you know at least a third of our food in the U.S. is wasted, either on the farm, at the grocery store, or in our homes? From redirecting food supplies to reduce hunger and poverty, helping save money, reducing climate emissions from agriculture, and stopping food waste, we can take huge steps toward building a more sustainable food system. There are three groups to focus on when trying to reduce our food waste: Regular folks like us, the big businesses we buy from, and institutions like schools and hospitals. To learn more, click here.

Food Day 2015


8 AM-12:30 PM – The celebration kicks off at the Napa Farmers’ Market (8 am-12:30 pm) with a health and wellness fair showcasing the importance of fresh, local and sustainable eating; local resources related to health and wellness; and information on sustainable farming.


4 PM – Local food purveyor fair with vendors who source regionally, sharing information about what they do to support healthy eating and our food system, and providing samples for guests to enjoy.

5 PM – Special presentation by Darrin Nordahl, the author of Eating Appalachia and Public Produce. He has written for CNN, the Huffington Post, and Grist.org, and worked for municipal government for many years, planting public spaces with fruits and vegetables, and championing an ethic of fresh produce by the people, for the people. Darrin is a native of California, lived in the Heartland for six long winters, and has traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada, speaking to audiences on the joys (and benefits) of eating local food.

6 PM – Screening of the film, Ingredients. At the focal point of the local food movement, and of this documentary, are the farmers and chefs who are creating a truly sustainable food system. Narrated by Bebe Neuwirth, Ingredients is a journey that reveals the people behind the movement to bring good food back to the table and health back to our communities.

Special thanks to Napa Food Day 2015 partners: County of Napa, Napa County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, Napa County Local Food Advisory Council, Napa Valley College, and Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention – Healthy Cooking with Kids, Inc.

Napa County U.C. Master Gardeners offer Drought Tips for “Gardening in Harmony with our Climate”

Always a great source of advice for planning and maintaining sustainable and enjoyable landscapes, the master gardeners also offer great tips for getting your plants through the drought, in addition to the normal “stresses” of a Mediterranean climate. Native plants are best adapted to the rhythms of the seasons, so it’s important to garden in harmony with our climate, using water efficiently and applying wise gardening practices. Get information on planting strategies and how different types of plants cope with less water. To learn more, click here.