Lowell’s is a West Sonoma County organic eatery that specializes in local, sustainably-produced ingredients. Our menu is Italian-inspired, while also drawing from and maintaining the sense of place that has become so intrinsic to new Californian cuisine – a menu that meanders naturally within the seasons, bringing the best flavors that Sonoma County and Northern California have to offer during each unique time of year. Click to visit restaurant website!

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Fall at Full Bloom Flower Farm

What an inspiring shoot we had! The blooms were insane, and we fully felt the abundance of the harvest. Bushels and bushels of dahlias, celosia, amaranth, rudbeckia, rose hips, mums, helianthus, figs from Hedda’s tree, and special feels for old sunflowers dying in the field. I can’t wait till we share the entire story with you, Full Bloom Flower Farm Through the Seasons.      

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Warm Spring Wind Hop Farm

I always like to joke about hop farming being my “day job” because I work the night shift as a registered nurse in San Francisco. My experience with growing hops all started with home brewing. My mentor was both a flight nurse and a professional brewer and gave me the necessary equipment to make beer at home. After a couple of batches I began to become more interested in the ingredients and where they came from, than the final product. Just after finishing nursing school, I spent a spring day volunteering at a hop yard in Dry Creek Valley. I saw the opportunity to get back in touch with my west county agrarian roots, and the idea was born to build a hop yard on my wife’s family property in West Sebastopol. Warm Spring Wind sits on a gently sloping, south-west facing hillside in West Sonoma County,  and provides premium ingredients for beer and cider making. We believe that the source, quality, and methods involved in the growing of ingredients provide the foundation of flavor for …

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Summer Harvest at Full Bloom Flower Farm

A couple months back, in the full swing of summertime harvest, Dawn and I headed out to meet local flower farmer Hedda at her farm, Full Bloom Flower Farm, in Graton. The fields were lush and overflowing, full of colorful zinnias, lisanthus, marigolds, sunflowers, rudbeckia, ammi, and scabiosas. The fields were so full of color and growth, they spread happiness every way you turned.   Sunflowers reach for the sky in this gorgeous and lush summertime flower field.

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Seasonal Fruit Galette

Galettes are a wonderfully easy dessert that really put the treasures of summer center stage. There is nothing better than beautiful fruit baked into flaky pastry. Once you learn the process of making this easy, versatile dessert, you’ll be making these gorgeous free form tarts all the time! Most importantly, have fun playing with the filling; apple, fig, peach, strawberry, the options are never ending. The secret to this recipe is in the flattening and folding of the dough, building up layers of butter in the pastry. Finishing the assembly with lashings of melted butter slathered all over almost makes the dough ‘fry’ in the oven. The key to many wonderful things is butter and this recipe is no exception. Served with ice cream, whipped cream, or whipped crème fraiche, it’s truly the queen of desserts. Summertime Rhubarb Galette For the dough: 10 oz flour 1 tablespoon sugar ¼ teaspoon salt 6 oz butter, cold and cubed ½ cups ice water For the rhubarb filling: 5-6 cups of chopped rhubarb zest and juice of 1 orange seeds from …

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Late Spring at Full Bloom Flower Farm

Late spring harvest at Full Bloom Flower Farm was full of color. Nicotiana, Ammi, Chantilly Snaps, Chinese Forget Me Nots, Nigella, Scabiosa, and many more. The Zinnias were just starting to come up and show their colorful faces. The star of the show was without a doubt Hedda’s David Austin Roses, with their full petals and gorgeous shades of pink and orange. You can tell that the farm was ready to burst into lush summer at any moment.   Crates full of Dahlias are ready for summer, and the farm is so much fuller than when we were here last.      

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Lowell’s Sea Salt and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are, in my opinion, the best cookie ever. I can’t say enough about how glorious they are. We make ours with a darker chocolate to contrast with the rich, buttery, brown sugar cookie dough. A touch of sea salt sprinkled on top makes the flavors dance. Be sure not to over bake the cookies to achieve the wonderfully chewy texture inside and crispy texture on the edges. Ingredients: 9.5 oz whole wheat pastry flour 8.25 oz all purpose flour 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 1 ½ teaspoons salt 10 oz butter, room temperature 8.75 oz brown sugar 8 oz sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 16 oz dark chocolate sea salt First, mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together and combine well. In a stand mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugars together until they are just mixed together with no buttery streaks. You don’t want this mixture light and fluffy, you want it heavy and sugary. …

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Late Winter Harvest at Full Bloom Flower Farm

I’m so excited to bring you the first installment of our “Flowers Through the Seasons” story, in collaboration with Hedda Brorstrom, owner and farmer at Full Bloom Flower Farm. A couple months ago our photographer Dawn and I headed out to Hedda’s flower farm, located just outside the town of Graton. We captured one of the last winter varietal harvests, and got a sneak peak at trays and trays of starts getting ready for the next season. While we were there, Hedda harvested anemones, ranunculas, helebores, bleeding hearts, and calla lilies. We can’t wait for the next season.   Watch this field as it changes through the seasons! If all goes as planned, those rows and rows of crates are going to be hundreds of dahlias, safe from the clutches of gophers.    

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A Lucky Day at Badger Ranch

The life of a farmer tends to get idealized. People view them as the lucky ones who where able to create a job out of puttering around in the garden and petting baby animals all day. I think most of our readers understand this is not the truth. Farming is a lifestyle that requires an immense amount of time and dedication. All of that being said, farmers do what they do because they love it, and sometimes you get to head out to a farm on a gorgeous Sonoma County day and pet baby goats, and hang out with good friends, and, on that day, it really is that perfect. Like on the day a few weeks ago when Dawn, our photographer, and I headed out to Sarah and Tyja Taube’s farm, Badger Ranch. Badger Ranch was created 6 years ago when Sarah’s family purchased the old Bassignani Nursery and reopened it as Grow Gardens Nursery. Sarah and Tyja were able to take a portion of the property; about 5 acres of land out of …

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Mushroom Harvest in Northern California

As a photographer, I get to spend many of my days documenting things that are new and captivating to me. It’s a big bonus to an already awesome job. Mushroom hunting has always seemed interesting to me, and when the time came to choose a new subject for the walls of Peter Lowell’s I knew exactly what I wanted to feature. Luckily for me, it was mushroom season. Dylan and Tyja Taube, two Sebastopol locals who grew up mushroom hunting with their father up in Mendocino, were kind enough to let me tag along. I joined the brothers on 3 different hunts, spread out over a couple months. Mushrooms flush at different times of the year, so this way we were able to capture a variety of local mushrooms as they bloomed. Our first hunt was for porcinis. I meet up with the boys and we set out before dawn. The crisp morning air and wet forest sets the perfect scene. The forest is quiet and still but the guys, with their experienced eyes, move …

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Satsuma Harvest

Sonoma County is packed with hidden orchards and Natalie and I find great joy in sussing them out. Every year we return to our favorites for their seasonal fruits. Last year we discovered a 30 year old citrus orchard tucked quietly behind El Molino High School in Forestville. The prize of this orchards is the Satsumas, which ripen on the trees to a perfect pitch of sweet and tart. The evolution of flavor of the Satsuma from the moment it’s picked to when its bought in a store up to 2 weeks later can be stark. The acid drops of precipitously, leaving a flat sweetness in its wake. With this in mind, we make sure to eat them as we pick them, using them at Peter Lowell’s and Handline as quickly as possible. Self control is impossible.