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Mouthful: Pumpkin season is here


<b>Pumpkin Patch Season:</b> In Two Rock, McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch opens Saturday with a scarecrow contest at 2:30 p.m. If you want to participate, you need to bring a frame so your scarecrow can stand and register before 2:30 p.m.

The patch is open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through the weekend before Halloween. In addition to picking your own pumpkin and ornamental corn, you can visit animals in the petting zoo, wind your way through the hay maze, play in the seed sand box, watch cows as they are being milked, take photographs and visit the new U-Pick garden, which is full of squashes, zucchini, more than 20 varieties of tomatoes and flowers.

There is a bounce house for toddlers, a second bounce house for older kids and hay rides for all.

There is no admission charge but there is a small fee for the bounce houses and hay rides.

A food truck will be on hand should you be hungry, and the farm store has with estate butter, eggs, ice cream, lavender and vegetables available for purchase.

For more information, visit mcclellandsdairy.com.

<b>Changes and a Pizza Party at Forchetta/Bastoni:</b> Tonight, Sebastopol's Forchetta/Bastoni (6948 Sebastopol Ave.) hosts a Pizza Parlor celebration from 5 p.m. until midnight, with pizza from the wood-burning oven.

The fete takes place in the dining room, the "forchetta" area, where Italian dinner has been served five nights a week since the restaurant opened in early 2012. For the remainder of this year, there will be no regular dinner service in the dining room, but you can expect special events, guest chef dinners, live music and cocktail parties. The space also is available to rent for private events.

Bastoni will continue to serve its Southeast Asian-inspired fare and signature cocktails daily.

Service for today's fete is first come, first served. For information about renting the dining room, email info@forchettabastoni.com.

<b>Mollie Katzen Book Signing:</b> On Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m., Mollie Katzen, writer and artist, will be the featured guest at the Point Reyes Farmers Market.

Katzen's newest cookbook, "The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation" (Houghton Mifflin, 2013, $35), will be available for purchase and signing.

Katzen's illustrations and photography appear throughout the hefty (464 pages) book, which features more of her signature vegan and vegetarian dishes that a generation embraced with her first two publications, "The Moosewood Cookbook" (Ten Speed Press, 1977) and "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest (Ten Speed Press, 1982). Since those two groundbreaking books, Katzen has released 10 additional books, including the new one.

The event is free. The market takes place at Toby's Feed Barn (11250 Highway 1) in downtown Point Reyes Station from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Karen Leigh and Leslie Keir will entertain with their live old-time and Mexican music, starting at 9:30 a.m.

<b>Rocktoberfest in Valley Ford:</b> Starting next Thursday and continuing through Oct. 13, Rocker Oysterfellers Kitchen and Saloon will transform itself into a little slice of Germany in honor of the Oktoberfest currently underway in Munich.

Chef and proprietor Brandon Guenther will transform the restaurant's patio into a Biergarten, with German beers on tap, Bavarian Polka music and a menu featuring wienerschnitzel, bratwurst, sauerkraut, spaetzle, potato pancakes with apple sauce, meatloaf with braised red cabbage, salads and more.

There will be vegetarian and gluten-free options and Tomales Bay Oysters and Niman Ranch burgers will remain available throughout the celebration.

The restaurant is open Thursday and Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday from noon to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

This all takes place during Columbus Day weekend, when the Valley Ford Antique Fair is underway Saturday through Monday, which means reservations are a really good idea. For yours, call 876-1983 or email brandong@ffrsi.com.

Rocker Oysterfellers is located in the Valley Ford Hotel at 14415 Highway 1, Valley Ford.

<b>More Oktoberfest Fun:</b> As you would expect, Santa Rosa's Bavarian restaurant, Cafe Europe (104 Calistoga Road) is celebrating Oktoberfest all month. The charmingly homey restaurant has Spaten Oktoberfest Beer on draft, along with a big selection of specials, including weisswurst, bratwurst, Danish herring, chanterelle and pork schnitzel, wild boar ragout, roasted pork shank and more.

Selections vary throughout the week, so if you have your heart set on something, check clickcafeeurope.com.

Cafe Europe serves lunch Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 4:30 to 9 p.m. It is open from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Sunday and is closed on Monday. For reservations, call 538-5255.

<b>Book Lovers, Heads Up:</b> If you felt a bit cheated by the heavy rains that fell on this year's Sonoma County Book Festival, cheer up. This weekend, Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries are hosting a four-day Fall Book Faire.

Things get started Friday with a preview sale from 3 to 7:30 p.m. Admission for the preview is $5, the only day there is a charge.

On Saturday, the fair is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with books priced individually. On Sunday from 10 to 5 p.m., everything is half price. On Monday from 2 to 7 p.m., you'll pay $4 for however many books you can put into a bag.

The fair includes thousands of donated books in all genres, including fiction, nonfiction, current titles, old favorites, collector's items, children's books, computer books and more, including movies on VHS and DVD, books on tape and CD and music on tape and CD.

It takes place at the Veterans Building, at the corner of Brookwood and Maple avenues, across from the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Parking is free.

<b>A Taste of the Ark:</b> On Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m., the Healdsburg Museum (221 Matheson St., Healdsburg) celebrates foods taken onto the US Ark of Taste by Slow Food.

The Ark of Taste began as a way to increase the profile of delicious heritage foods from around the world that are in danger of being lost.

The tasting will feature Brandywine tomato jam with goat cheese; Bodega Red vichyssoise; Petaluma Gold Rush beans; roasted Sibley squash; Jimmy Nardello peppers; Meyer lemons; Monterey Jack cheese with honey and Amish Pie Squash muffins. Shrub, a vinegar-based drink from Colonial times, will also be served.

Cost is $20 and tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com.

<i>Michele Anna Jordan hosts "Mouthful" each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM. E-mail Jordan at michele@micheleannajordan.com. You'll find her blog, "Eat This Now," at pantry. blogs.pressdemocrat.com.</i>