Field Notes, Healdsburg

Healdsburg Store Closing: FAQ

Healdsburg Store Closing

It is with great sadness that we announce that our Healdsburg store is closing at the end of December 2018. Our last full day operating the Café and Fermentation Bar, Larder and Pantry, Housewares and Garden will be Monday, Dec. 31. We will be open daily from 8am to 6pm until then.

We will reopen briefly in 2019 on January 9th to 27th just for Coffee Bar service and for customers to shop our retail floor. Our online store operations at healdsburgshed.com will remain unchanged.

Closing the Healdsburg store was a hard decision for owners Doug Lipton and Cindy Daniel to make. “After much consideration and experiencing a tough retail year following the 2017 Sonoma County fires, we have made the very difficult decision to close the Healdsburg brick-and-mortar version of SHED,” Doug said.

Cindy adds, “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with our community and thankful to the residents of Healdsburg who have been so supportive over the past five-and-a-half years. We are truly grateful for our incredible employees who have been integral to creating and sharing all aspects of SHED with visitors and customers.”

Healdsburg SHED opened in April 2013 to celebrate good farming, good cooking, and good eating. That ethos and the products that support it will remain online. Only the Healdsburg brick-and-mortar business will shutter.

Change brings questions. We’ve tried to anticipate some of yours here. 

I have tickets for an event in 2019. Will the event still be held?

No, all of the public events in our Modern Grange for 2019 have been canceled. You should have been contacted by now and given a full refund. Our apologies for the inconvenience!

I had been planning to host a private event at Healdsburg SHED in 2019. Will you be able to accommodate me?

We’re sorry, but all private events scheduled on or after Feb. 1, 2019, are canceled. Our events manager will be in touch to refund any deposits or other monies as appropriate and to make recommendations to help you rearrange your event elsewhere.

I have a SHED gift card. Will it still be honored?

Absolutely! Physical gift cards are available for in-store redemption through Dec. 31, 2018. If you have a remaining gift card balance, it will be transferred to a digital store credit and available for online use after Feb. 15, 2019.

If you have an online SHED gift card, please continue to simply shop online with us. While our brick-and-mortar Northern California store will close, our online store will remain stocked and open.

I’ve ordered holiday gifts from your store for out-of-town friends and relatives. Will those gifts still be shipped and delivered?

Yes! If you bought your gifts from our Healdsburg store and arranged to have them shipped, they will be unaffected by our change. Gifts purchased online will be unaffected by the Healdsburg store’s closure.

What if a gift I give needs to be returned? Can the recipient handle this via your website when your Healdsburg store is closed?

Of course. We will accept gift returns for an online store credit, and all other general product returns within 14 days of receipt of the item. Unless your item has been received damaged or broken due to misshipment and packaging, we do not at this time cover the cost for return shipments.

I have reservations for your Café in December. Will they be honored?

We look forward to welcoming your party to our Café in December. All operations will remain active through the end of business on Monday, Dec. 31.

I have reservations for your Café after December 2018. Will they be honored?

Our Café will close permanently after service ends on Dec. 31, 2018. Reservations for 2019 are suspended. Our apologies for the inconvenience. Please give us a call if you’d like suggestions for other places to dine in Healdsburg. Our community is fortunate to have excellent eateries at every price point.

I love the fresh selections in your produce section. Where will I be able to find this kind of food now?

Thank you for wanting to support farmers! It’s so important to us. Locally, the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers’ Market at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is year-round, rain or shine, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 1pm. Our own beloved Healdsburg Farmers’ Market runs  Saturdays, May 5-Nov. 24, 2019, at the parking lot across from our store and on Tuesdays, from May 29, 2019, on the Healdsburg Plaza.

I purchased just two settings of your stoneware dinnerware for my son and his new wife, intending to add to their set over the years. Will I still be able to find it?

Yes! In addition to our carefully curated retail collection from around the world, we will continue to offer such legacy and proprietary merchandise as the SHED dinnerware set and our Pantry line of house-made spices and salts.

I have enrolled in your registry and my wedding isn’t until June of 2019. Will my guests be able to shop our requested items?

Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! And worry not: Our registry already lives online and nothing about it will change.

How will I know when you have new items or have a sale or otherwise update your online inventory?

Please sign up for our newsletter. We’ll keep you apprised of sales and new items and you can make purchases directly from the links within it.

I’ve always enjoyed your blog posts and recipes, interviews and profiles. Will those go away, too?

We love our blog and Learn sections, too! Education is an incredibly important component of what we do, and we are committed to continuing to create fresh content for our website. Subscribing to our newsletter will alert you to new posts.

Have a question we haven’t anticipated? Email us and we’ll do our best to get it answered!

Field Notes

Looking Back: 2017

2017 Year in Review

Looking back at the whirl that was 2017, we see a luxurious montage illustrating our bedrock ethos of good farming, good cooking, good eating — but moreover, we see good people, good neighbors, and good friends in every photo.

This was the year of the terrible fires that destroyed huge swathes of the North Bay and taught us all humility in the face of nature while reminding us of the importance of helping one another.

It was a year in which we celebrated women’s accomplishments . . .

. . . and, for the month of October — the entire state of Oaxaca! — helping to support the local nonprofit Corazon.

2017 year in review

We enlarged our Healdsburg Café this year by moving our Farm section to its own clever storage unit outside of the store . . .

2017 year in review

. . . and using its former space to place a new load of comfortable tables.

It was a giddy year in which we were honored with a Bib Gourmand, were awarded a Slow Food “Snail of Approval,” were hailed by Robert Parker himself, and named to the San Francisco Chronicle‘s influential Top 100 Restaurants list. Among others!

SF Chronicle photo by Preston Gannaway/Peter DiSilva

We had the thrill of being featured in Martha Stewart Living, which even took the time to capture Doug — and his turnips.

2017 year in review

Martha Stewart Living photo by Jake Stangel

In June, photographer Roman Cho showed work from his Culinaria project throughout our Healdsburg store.

2017 was the year that we launched our Larder Take Away program online, featuring everything from that which you need for dinner tonight (hint: fried chicken) . . .

. . . to what you might want to bring along for a picnic or wish to feed those hungry colleagues gathered for an offsite retreat. Our preserved fish program, spearheaded by Perry Hoffman (below, left) is among those SHED foods named finalists in the 2018 Good Food Awards!

In April, we celebrated our fourth anniversary with cake. . .

2017 year in review

. . . and by expanding our proprietary Pantry Line of house-made powders, shrubs, preserves, and other essentials.

2017 year in review

From this new collection, we created a special Pantry Box full of goodies with an accompanying Pantry Share program.

This was also the year that the artistic stars aligned, allowing us to launch our own line of stoneware dinnerware settings, created by Pope Valley sculptor Richard Carter just for the SHED.

We’d be remiss not to mention the hundreds of events we hosted, from community fundraisers to dance concerts, from film premieres and small documentary screenings to sold-out dinners, community suppers, and celebrity events. Author and chef Deborah Madison joined us with Roots of Change founder Michael Dimmock.

2017 year in review

Paula Wolfert, the cookbook author who introduced duck confit and so much more to American kitchens, appeared in support of her gorgeous autobiography Unforgettable with photographer Eric Wolfinger and biographer Emily Kaiser Thelin.

2017 year in review

Wendell Berry‘s daughter Mary Berry joined us for a sold-out evening in November to introduce the new documentary on her father, Look & See, which puts his poetic/agricultural philosophies into greater context. He’s a hero of ours; getting to meet Mary was a thrill!

 

2017 year in review

We welcomed such chefs as Portland’s Josh McFadden, whose Six Seasons cookbook is kept in constant home use by some of our more avid staff, and paired his good food with the great grape coming from Scribe . . .

2017 year in review

. . . and launched our Zero Foodprint program with Mission Chinese and The Perennial’s Anthony Myint (shown below) and writer Kenji López-Alt, replete with a community meal to offer insight on the Zero Foodprint concept and how a multi-faceted operation like SHED might achieve its parity.

2017 year in review

Learning is a core value and our workshop roster was full this year as always. Among the highlights was the Studio Mondine tutorial on floral design co-hosted by photographer Gemma Ingalls. . .

2017 year in review

. . . and hosting students at our own HomeFarm for a Sun Hive workshop with natural apiarist Michael Thiele.

Proud to sponsor the Healdsburg Jazz Festival and the UPside Dance Company, we revel in providing such small surprises as the occasional free live jazz from the excellent Dry Creek Trio (yes, that’s Doug on guitar!). Stop by early and often to see what we have in store.

We know that this coming year will be full of more dinners, learning, films, dance, music, and fun. We don’t know what else to expect — and that’s OK. We just hope to spend part of it with you!

Meet the Makers

Preston of Dry Creek

“Serendipity” is a word that Lou Preston uses often when describing the life that he and his wife, the artist Susan Preston, share at their Preston of Dry Creek farm and vineyard. Serendipity brought them to the land, and serendipity has, for four decades, helped them see how best to serve the land.

(more…)

Farming, Foodshed, Healdsburg

The Best Ways to Shop the Farmers’ Market

It’s hard to overstate how much we love our local farmers’ market. Celebrating its 37th birthday last week, the Healdsburg Farmers’ Market is both a community gathering space for our agricultural hamlet and source of dinner inspiration twice weekly though the summer. Thankfully, we aren’t the only lucky ones. The popularity of farmers’ markets has soared recently, and there are currently more than 8,000 farmers markets in the United States. So how can we all make the most of our local markets? We culled our favorite cookbooks to get some pearls of wisdom from chefs on how to best shop the market:

From Steven Satterfield, author of Root to Leaf, A Southern Chef Cooks Through the Seasons

Eat more vegetables, and eat with the season.

If you are able to show up with an open mind and some empty bags rather than a shopping list, you can respond to what is available. Allowing the fresh produce to guide you is true seasonal cooking.

From Kevin West, author of Saving the Season: A cook’s guide to home canning, pickling, and preserving

Save nature’s fleeting abundance with preserving.

When choosing fruit, be guided by fragrance and taste rather than appearance. Smaller fruit is often best, because it has a lower water content and more concentrated flavor.

From Alice Waters, author of Chez Panisse Vegetables

First shop, then cook.

Go to the market before you decide what to cook. Decide on your menu based on what you find there. Buy products that are fresh, local, and organic. Select produce that looks freshly harvested and at its peak. Look for vegetables that look right back at you!

and Chez Panisse Fruit

Let yourself be surprised.

Ask questions. Learn what varieties you like and when they come into season. Tell the vendors what you like best and why. When you’re driving in the country, stop at farm stands whether you think you need anything or not.

From Yotem Ottolenghi, author Plenty More

Integrate spices.

Become familiar with different varieties of vegetables available in markets and specialty shops. Explore the varied and exciting world of vegetable cooking!

From Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy

Know your farmer, know your soil.

One of the most important principles of organic gardening is growing soil first, food second. The plants we eat can’t be better than the soil they’re raised on, so it’s important to know a good farmer or two who is growing soil along with their beets. Know your farmer, know your food.

From Tamar Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal.

Buy the best and eat it all.

When you go hunting for vegetables for your boiling pot, don’t be deterred by those stems and leaves. Though it’s easy to forget, leaves and stalks are part of a vegetable, not obstacles to it.

The best vegetables to boil will be the ones in season. They will also be the ones with the most leaves, most stalks, and longest stems. Knowing that you can simply boil the expensive, leafier vegetables at the farmers’ market should help justify your buying them. All you have to do is cut them up and drop them in water, and you can drop all of them in water.

It’s been proclaimed! August 2-August 8 is National Farmers’ Market Week! Wherever you are, shop the market!

Healdsburg, Modern Grange, Watershed

If This Creek Could Talk

They say a man never steps into the same river twice. But what if he steps into what used to be a creek, then became a slough, and then became a creek again? Perhaps then, he's stepped into a story.

Foss Creek, the Russian River tributary that we quite literally overlook here at SHED, is a waterway that has been through a few such changes in identity. Like all natural resources, it has had an evolving relationship with the region’s human population. Since the time of early settlers, Foss has transitioned from utilitarian waterway to beloved neighborhood creek – a storied past that we’ll learn about in our free community talk and creek walk tonight in the Grange from 5-7:30pm.

In Healdsburg’s early days, people knew the creek to be wide, full, and as one pioneer enthused, a great place to raise ducks. In Healdsburg Tribune editions from the 1880s, a time at which fishing reports were regularly served along with local news, it was noted that the creek teamed with trout after a heavy rainstorm. After one such rain, a local resident was lauded for catching 50 trout one day, 60 the next. 

But as Healdsburg’s population grew in the late 1800s, the creek was used for more industrial purposes. A tannery and gristmill were built alongside its banks, and its waters were used to carry away production waste. Residents also used the creek for household waste in the days before indoor plumbing was common.  

Near the turn of the last century, the creek was known as Norton Slough, and served as a dividing line between the more and less desirable parts of town. The illicit area on the Western edge of Healdsburg had its dance halls, brothels, saloons, and other houses of ill repute a mere footbridge away from the tidier lives of "decent" citizenry.

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After a century or more of misuse, the creek became overgrown with wild brush and liable to flood. It occasionally did and could cause serious damage — something many current residents will remember. But now, thanks to Russian Riverkeeper’s Foss Creek Community Restoration Project, much of the invasive non-native plants have been removed, which has reduced flooding impact and improved wildlife habitat along the creek. Today, depending on season and rainfall, the former slough is home to crayfish, sculpin, and even the occasional otter

At tonight’s community creek walk, Don McEnhill, executive director of Russian Riverkeeper, and Jack Sorocco, longtime Healdsburg resident and raconteur, will reveal the history of Foss Creek through colorful stories and historic photographs, then lead us in a guided walk down a portion of the creek to point out ecological and historical features of note. Families are welcome. Bring your walking shoes, your camera, and get ready to take a trip up the creek and back in time. 

Many thanks to the Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society for the use of their archive and images. 

Farming, Foodshed, HomeFarm

HomeFarm Snapshot

Planted to wine and then to wheat, the 16 acres that HomeFarm sits on in Healdsburg's Dry Creek Valley is today a far lusher place than when SHED co-owners Doug Lipton and Cindy Daniel bought it 20 years ago. A flat swathe bordered on two sides by local creeks, the land then had no trees except those bordering the water, no plants save those sheltered by the trees, and no place for people to live.

Today, the grounds are lushly planted around a handsome rammed earth masonry home that serves as the farm's anchor. Doug and Cindy wanted to reproduce the casual surprises of a garden, not plant to the rigors of a standard production farm. A garden surrounds and envelopes a home; a production farm is usually set at a distance from the house. A garden provides solace and beauty; a farm provides work. HomeFarm, it seems, provides it all.

The result is that a small personal kitchen garden leads to a formal space not unfamiliar to European homes which leads to a native grassland which leads over a swale that directs extra rainfall to the creeks which leads to an olive orchard which leads to a citrus grove and so on. HomeFarm threads and meanders over the property, planted with an eye to permaculture and Biodynamic principles that nourish and honor the land. Though the process for organic certification didn't begin until this year, HomeFarm hasn't been sprayed since 1994 and all practice upon it is organic.

There are small wine grape blocks planted with Muscat and Rhone varietals to provide the fruit for the rosé and dessert wines released under the HomeFarm label. There are traditional plowed beds for tomatoes and squash and peppers and everything else good to eat in the summer. Okra is a specialty due to Doug and Cindy's Louisiana roots. The orchard holds a library of heritage fruit trees, just a few of each type, which tower above lettuces that stay cool in their shade. Perennial flowers are interplanted with raspberries and asparagus. There is the type of ornamental oregano that Cindy used to compose her wedding bouquet and Sicilian oregano that is dried to season "Doug's Eggs", a dish served daily on SHED's menu. There is lemon grass and lemon balm and scented geranium and dahlias and roses. Lilac in the spring and melons in the summer.

Much of the produce sold at SHED and through its CSA program comes from HomeFarm, and 95% of all the produce at SHED is sourced from farms 10 miles away or less. Supporting other farmers and providing the best-quality locally-grown food available is a founding ethos of SHED. Producing the healthiest, most delicious food possible is a founding ethos for HomeFarm.

HomeFarm, it's a pretty nice place to live.