Editorial: Welcome


Editorial Introduction to Simply Sonoma

Dear Reader,

Welcome to SimplySonoma! Your weekly destination for all that is fresh, local, and fun; the essence of what is good about life in Sonoma County. Every week you will find new recipes based on produce you can find at the farmer’s market or harvest from your garden, beautiful pictures of flowers and plants in season, tips on vacationing in your own back yard from original articles and relaxation techniques to home projects. In addition you will find editorials and features on local arts & culture, towns to explore, shopping, nurseries, bakeries, spas, antiques, farmer’s markets, florists/farms, bakeries—all the things that make for a great leisurely day out and a great night in.

Life in Sonoma is one of appreciation of the beauty of the nature that surrounds us, caring about ourselves and others, and cherishing good food and good friends. We are a group of friends from Sonoma County who want to share our insights on living the good life—no matter what your means. Many of us hold graduate degrees in the arts and humanities and are trained in the life of the senses and enjoy having a venue to share our thoughts on esthetics.

Our Staff Includes:
Chief Editor, Photographer: Nadja Masura
Born and raised in West Sonoma County to a family very involved in community building activities (including: Sister Cities, CCOF and FOG, disabilities groups, and the Occidental Community Choir), Nadja Masura has always loved the beauty of the place and the flowers that grow here. An avid photographer and sometimes artist/writer/performer she has been involved in several local community arts organizations. She also holds multiple degrees in Theatre and in Multimedia, including a Ph.D. in Digital Technology from the University of Maryland (MITH). She is also known for a silly sense of humor, due to her early years spent watching Monty Python, Faulty Towers, and SNL.

Food Editor: Rachel Crockett
Rachel Crockett lived in the town of Sonoma for several years, while studying for an M.A. in Arts Administration at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Work has taken her elsewhere, yet she continues to enjoy the food and culture of the region. She finds that cooking for artists is the best (temporary) escape from managing their grant applications. She is also a talented photographer and mixes a mean melon ball.

Copy Editor and Contributor: Jim Marcolina
Although Jim Marcolina grew up in the South Bay, the slower pace and rich history here have made his sixteen years here the most rewarding. Upon buying a historic house in Healdsburg, he paid a visit to learn some local history and has not stopped since. Whether it’s working in the telecom or web publishing scene, contra dancing at a grange hall, or enjoying our unique rolling landscape, Sonoma County is his home. Jim earned his B.A. in English at San Jose State University. He is also the proud father of two beautiful Corgis, likes to create worlds in Blender, and knows more about Tolkien than I thought possible.

Technical Director and Contributor: Peter Rogers
Peter Rogers fell in love with Sonoma County the very first time he visited the love of his life at her parents’ quirky home in the west county over twenty years ago. He moved to Rohnert Park sixteen years ago and later moved to Santa Rosa to be closer to the action. Peter earned his M.A. in Theatre from Western Washington University. His interests include theatre, cinema, writing, juggling, art, and most things science fiction. He is also a talented actor, kind person, and a very good parent to two cats (including one that would give Garfield a run for his money in the attitude department).

Home & Relaxation Contributor: Lyn Cessna
Lyn Cessna holds a graduate degree in Education from USF. After leaving the south (L.A.) to attend SSU, Lyn fell in love with the Sonoma lifestyle and settled here with her husband and several animals. She is involved in the local scene and loves biking, making beer, tending her bees, and working in her garden. Her goth-steampunk-hipster exterior belies a sweet creamy center.

On a personal note, the seeds of this project were planted in me years ago and lay dormant, images gathering and ideas waiting unnoticed—until they became ready to sprout with the past year after a meeting with a former Magazine editor in New York who was excited about the idea of a lifestyle magazine about and for Sonoma. A year and a half later, here we are.

As a child growing up in West Sonoma County I have always loved the rolling hillsides, creeks cutting through forests rushing to the open Pacific. My youth was spent playing in apple trees, helping in the garden, marveling at the beautiful perfection of each flower. I was raised on an organic farm where we grew specialty produce for local markets and world renowned chefs like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse. I recall once coming to the door in my night gown and bare feet and seeing a man with a funny tall white (chef’s) hat, Mark Malicki (formerly of Iron Horse Vineyard). My uncle who helped raise me, Sy Weisman, was deeply involved in the early organic food movement. He helped craft the state’s organic legislation, and also left his mark through the CCOF Sunflower logo which remains today. Better yet, he was an artist with plants, grafting multiple apples varieties to our trees, creating his own heirloom tomatoes, experimenting with new varieties and flavor combinations of basils, radicchios, Asian pairs, golden-berries. Yum!

Just as he was an art professor by training an organic farmer by trade, life in all its wisdom seems to have led me and my colleagues down unexpected paths, often requiring a dose of humility and the saving grace of gratitude. Life in Sonoma County is truly special. The arts blossom here, and culturally we have Charles Schultz, Luther Burbank, Jack London, ex-hippies with graduate degrees, and hardworking everyday people descended from loggers and farmers to thank for a collective character of hopeful perseverance, innovation, humor, and reverence for nature. Here there is a certain joy and elegance in daily living—an easy perfection which comes out of joy and gratitude for beauty in the small things like how we grow food to eat, get involved in the community, and value the beauty of each and every season. It is my pleasure to begin to share this joy with you through photos, stories, and more.