Every week members and guests come together at WORK Petaluma for a coffee social. Since coworking is as much about sharing ideas as it is about sharing office space, the ensuing conversation is always lively and surprising. Here’s a peek inside…

By coWORKer Maggie Hohle – www.maggietext.com

It might be because of the beginning of the many Farmer’s Markets in town and around the county, or maybe because of the Bounty of Petaluma event at the Petaluma Museum the other night, but FOOD, good, organic food, was the subject of the Coffee Social this Tuesday.

A real local, coWORKer Armand Ramirez, brought his knowledge to bear when we talked about the size of a “family farm” in this area vs. in the valley, and coWORKer Nancy Sands Johnson, who just wrote a piece on GMOs for North Bay Biz, brought up the choice to not only eat local and organic, but maybe even forgo a few servings so your kids can eat more of this great stuff. Also discussed: the evil wine industry taking out good crops to grow even MORE inedible but drinkable wine, while some kids in the county could certainly benefit from sideline orchard fruit that wineries could grow to offset their “theft” of arable land.

We found out a lot of us have some family ties to farming or living by the fruit of your own labor. coWORKer Mike Van Winkle, originally from Arkansas, told us about his Uncle Jimmy, who “wears overalls and lives in the woods”,  and built his cabin himself and now “tosses chickens for Tyson”* as a side business. Natasha’s aunt and uncle also live in the woods and have a little mill on the property, with which they milled their own wood to build their cabin. Matt and Natasha are off to a great vacation on Chebeague Island in Maine, in another little cabin that’s been in Matt’s family for a century, but we were urged to visit another kind of cabin, Pine Lodge, aka Hellman-Ehrman Mansion in Sugar Pine State Park in Tahoe, and to visit Green String Farm, which has some of the best prices around, according to Natasha.

*Tossing chickens for Tyson: Using a certified chicken house (cost, about $12,000) to run a small chicken ranch for a large corporation, which supplies the chicks and picks up the meat birds when they’re full grown.

Maggie Hohle’s coWORKer profile can be found here.

photo of Green String Farm by Natasha Juliana