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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Eli Colvin’s One Man Revolution

I recently had the exciting opportunity to visit with Eli Colvin, owner and operator of Revolution Bread in Petaluma. His bakery is located on Open Field Farm, a diversified farm with cattle, sheep, chickens, vegetables and a CSA. The farm grows rye in their front field, wheat in another, and plan to expand their fields for more wheat in the near future. Eli loves being a part of growing because it connects him to the entire process. Artisan bread has exploded in the past few years and people are recognizing the importance of using local, high quality products and this inspired Eli to start his own bread company. Revolution is a one-man operation, with Eli making about 800 loaves a week and often working 14-hour days. He loves anything to do with fermentation, especially bread. His favorite part of fermentation is that it is always changing and a good challenge. He started his career in restaurants, and then got an opportunity to work at a bakery in Healdsburg. That was 24 years ago, and since …

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We made a map!

We are so excited to introduce a fun project we’ve been working on! Officially named the West Sonoma County Field Guide, we lovingly refer to it as “the map.” As a tribute to our left coast, it opens left to right and features a custom cut coastline. We highlight the restaurants, wineries, and other locally-owned businesses that approach their work with a similar philosophy to ours. They are small-scale, artisan, seasonal, organic or biodynamic, and community-enriching businesses that are worth supporting! We’ll be blunt: it is very much a curated list. It’s an expression of our point of view, a treasure map to what we consider to be the “gold mines” around West Sonoma County. A precious and beautiful art piece with a touch of whimsy that is useful but not overly so. Of course it’s promotional: a pure-hearted effort to generate more business for the folks who really care and have made a commitment to true sustainability. These restaurants commit to local sourcing, seasonality, and organic ingredients. These wineries use organic and biodynamic practices, hand-harvest their grapes and make wine with minimal intervention. The …

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A Visit to Sonoma Swamp Blues and a Recipe to Honor the Farmer

Two things struck me the other week when I went down to the Laguna de Santa Rosa with our photographer Dawn to visit Sonoma Swamp Blues, our local organic blueberry farm. The first came immediately upon opening the car door. Mamta, the mother of one of my very best childhood friends Daniel, jumped right into a few things on her mind. The first was interpreting my dream I had barely shaken at that fresh hour of 6:30am. The second was espousing the anthroposophical healing qualities of the dew clinging to perfectly plump and purple blueberries popping off scraggly branches. You see, Mamta is a parent of two Waldorf kids and was, for many years, president of Ayurvedic California, so she knows a thing or two about the esoteric. But here is what struck my and made me smile on that foggy summer morning. I had the pleasure, in that moment, of feeling like a kid again. I remembered the feeling of being in her house as a boy. Of playing with her son in ways …

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A Winemaker’s Thoughts on the Fire : A Bond Stronger than Business

From Lowell : Each year our photographer Dawn and I head out to visit a vineyard during harvest. In October 2017 we visited a merlot vineyard that Kenny and Lynn from Hobo Wine Company work with in the Sonoma Valley. The vineyard, and home of Ian Morrison and his wife, is nuzzled into the hillside on the narrow road heading up to Sugar Loaf State Park. It was a beautiful and crisp morning on the 3rd of October, and was an especially fun trip for me because the vineyard happened to be owned by my former high school art teacher at Summerfield Waldorf. Little did we know, less that a week later, the devastating fires of Northern California would lap up to the vineyards edge. After the fires hit, Dawn and I felt like we needed to head back a few months later, to understand what had become of the neighborhood. Over a dozen houses on this small street had been burnt to the ground, some no more than 100 yards from the vineyard and home of …

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Lowell’s Everyday Pasta Dough

“Pasta work requires attention, focus and patience. A delicate touch can make a hard dough perfectly supple and pliable… I knead this morning’s dough onto the table, folding it into itself. Long ribbons of the golden dough billow from the machine as its gears creak with years of use. For just a moment I allow my mind to wander back to my time spent studying in Italy. During my adventures I found that fresh pasta is ubiquitous, a staple on almost every table. Traveling throughout the country one can find pasta of every shape and size, paired with its very own regional sauce and ingredients. This is what I love most about pasta, the diversity within this one dish is endless. From your basic dough recipe to the way that dough is worked gently and molded into shape, to the sauce it carries and the cheese you finish it with, no two pastas are exactly the same. From the most simple to the much more elaborate and avant garde, a bowl of pasta (and you …

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The Best Chocolate Sorbet

This is one of the very first desserts I made as pastry chef at Lowell’s. Being in charge of a dessert menu which included a vegan option was very daunting and I wanted to steer clear of the “just give them fruit” ethos. Enter the Chocolate Sorbet. The recipe comes from a pastry chef hero of mine, David Lebovitz. He has provided me with endless inspiration and this brilliant sorbet was my debut vegan option, served with poached pears and candied almonds. As my time here at Lowell’s comes to a close, it seems only fitting that my last entry for the blog is for this lovely sorbet. All who ate it immediately loved it, and this gave me the confidence I needed to carry on with a job that felt quite far out of my comfort zone. I’ll miss making desserts at Lowell’s, but not as much as I’ll miss the wonderful people I’ve been lucky enough to share that little kitchen with. I personally feel that this sorbet is better than chocolate ice …

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Satsuma Marmalade

I learned to make marmalade when I lived in England and was working as a caretaker for an elderly woman who lived next door to me. I became quite good friends with her daughter, Fiona, who was obsessive about her jam and marmalade making. Going to Fiona’s house on a ‘jam day’ was always very atmospheric. Walking through her door, you would enter into her factory – various stations were set up around her little South London flat. One for cutting and preparing fruit, one for measuring vast amounts of sugar, the canning section full of jars and other preserving paraphernalia, and of course her stove, with dented old pots precariously perched on all burners. She was serious. Because she was a gardener and got gluts of fruit from her various clients, her jams ranged from your run of the mill, ubiquitous English Strawberry to the more exotic Kiwi Ginger. Her creations were always delicious, but her marmalade was truly spectacular. She never gave me an exact recipe because she said there wasn’t one, so …

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Fall Apple Vinaigrette and the Seasonal Mixed Lettuce Salad

Apple Vinaigrette: One of our trademark salads at Lowell’s is the Mixed Lettuces. We highlight the fresh, tender greens that we grow at Two Belly Acres and show the versatility of the greens throughout the changing of the seasons. In the spring we make a creamy green goddess dressing with crème fraîche and herbs. In summer, a light and acidic peach vinaigrette. And for our winter salad we showcase a Meyer lemon based citronette, served with persimmons or citrus segments. During the early fall we are lucky to have a plethora of fresh, local apples. Our Apple Vinaigrette is a fresh and tangy dressing that makes use of the bounty of fall apples in Sonoma County. This versatile and vegan vinaigrette can be paired with fresh farm lettuce, smoked fish, and grains. We like to use Gravenstein apples at the restaurant, but any crisp apple with a balanced sweet to tart flavor will do. Ingredients: 2 large apples, peeled, cored and roughly diced 1 T Dijon mustard ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar 1 cup …

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Cut Flower Seed Saving with Full Bloom Flower Farm

In late Fall, armed with a basket of paper lunch bags, a sharpie, and sharp pruners, I head into the field for one of my favorite harvests of the season. I clip fully developed seed heads of various shapes and varieties into carefully labeled bags. Unlike a cut flower harvest, seed head harvesting gathers thousands upon thousands of future potential plants. The thoughtful activity feels sacred, wise, ancestral, and magical all at once. And it always seems like the birds and my socks are in on the seed collecting too. I am selecting and collecting regionally adapted blooms and following in a tradition of gardeners and earth stewards before me. With the average flower seed packet ranging from three to fifteen dollars, seed saving can also make a poor farmer feel rich. On my small, but intensively planted one acre, I spend around one thousand dollars on new seed each season. While corms, tubers, and starts cost more than the seeds each year, the vast majority of plants on my farm come from seeds which …

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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.