• Issue of
  • April - June 2019
  • Vol. 5, No. 4
  • Spring/Summer 2019

Naturalists — Humboldt County is full of unspoiled natural beauty: ancient redwood forests, seascapes and rolling hills. And people here care about taking care of it. It’s no wonder we’ve got plenty of ways to enjoy the wonders of our part of the North Coast while keeping in mind its best stewardship. Listen, we were doing eco-tourism before it was cool.

Our Perfect Trips section takes you on an eco-friendly tour of the county, from the scenic and bird-filled Arcata Marsh that (who knew?) doubles as a wastewater treatment facility to our zero-waste Oyster Festival. If you really want to hit the road, we suggest drafting behind the human-powered, amphibian sculpture race that is the Kinetic Grand Championship. Where else are you going to see, say, an enormous crab pedaling down the road and into the water?

In this issue, you’ll meet the Foggy Bottoms Boys, Thomas and Cody Nicholson-Stratton, who are upholding the traditions of Ferndale farming as they manage their family’s certified organic dairy farm with an eye to sustainability for future generations. We defy you to hold back a smile at the photos of their sweet heifers, calves and rabbits.

Even the bright lights of a casino can be made more sustainable. Sound crazy? Not to the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe, which has vowed to take its casino’s flashing slot machines, restaurants and hotel rooms to net zero emissions by 2030. With solar panels juicing up its microgrid and electric car charging stations, it’s well on its way.

Speaking of bright lights, photographer David Wilson offers tips for a quieter way to spend Humboldt nights: stargazing among our mountains, forests and beaches. Especially if you’re coming from a city, our views of the Milky Way and post-equinox constellations will blow your mind in the best way.

Once you’re ready to eat, consider vegetarian. Not only is it good for the planet but Arcata institution Wildflower Café was won a strong following with its vegetarian and vegan menu that makes vegetables sing. Even the vegetable resistant crumble when they get a load of the baked goods. We’ve got a line on pan-Asian eats featuring local and organic produce, too, at Souji House, a neighborhood spot in Garberville run by the same folks as Chautauqua Natural Foods.

We don’t like to waste food here, either. Just look at the award-winning Alchemy Distillery — well named when you consider it turns leftover bagels into booze. You’ll get a look inside the process and see how owners Steve and Amy Bohner make artisanal liquors that cut food waste and their carbon footprint.

Need some souvenirs? Take a little of our eco creed back home with you in the form of local, sustainably produced body care goodies from a pair of companies, Blue Heron and ‘Ohana Organics, that are doing their best for our environment and our skin.

Take a deep breath of fresh air before you dive in. Then revel in all Humboldt has to offer while keeping it beautiful.

— Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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