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Gourd celebration melds art, wine, music

The garden at Food for Thought in Forestville is at its most delicious in October. The richly textured food garden is filled with mysterious-shaped gourds of many varieties.

Each year the food bank, which serves people with AIDS and HIV, celebrates this intriguing and sculptural member of the Cucurbitaceae family with "Calabash -- A Celebration of Gourds, Art and the Garden."

This year's bash is Sunday, and includes a huge spread of food made from fresh-harvested local crops as well as Sonoma County wine. Event-goers are also treated to live music played on hand-made gourd instruments while strolling the garden and browsing among a huge selection of gourd art contributed for silent auction by more than 100 Sonoma County and Bay Area artists.

This year's event highlights a new AIDS Memorial, the only one in Sonoma County. Garden plantings around a water feature and artistic archway include traditional herbs and flowers used in healing and remembrance, such as echinacea, ashwaganda, borage, lemon balm and angelica.

The celebration will be from 1 to 5 p.m. at 6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville. Tickets are $45 in advance either online or at Food for Thought directly, or $50 the day of the event.

The garden is a collaboration between Food for Thought and the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center's Horticultural Therapy Program.

For information call 887-1647 or fftfoodbank.org.


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