Farmster Festival raises money for community farm at SOMO Village

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Central to any barbecue is food.

That was especially true Saturday at a musical feast beneath the redwoods of SOMO Village, off Petaluma Hill Road not far from Sonoma State University.

The Farmster Festival celebrated and raised operating dollars for a nonprofit endeavor to create a community farm, engage children in the growing of low-cost, healthful produce and promote the expansion of small scale, farm-to-plate agriculture.

Farmster was founded by recent SSU graduates Dustin DeMatteo, Tomio Endo, Allison Jenks and Jamal Edwards, who seek to improve food security and the nutrition of those who’ll receive food from the farm that’s being created on SOMO Village land long used for the growing of hay.

Those four and other Farmster volunteers pursue a variety of careers and on their own time answer a passion to cultivate community farming. To learn more, see

Saturday’s all-family festival featured a full lineup of musical performers: Andy Rasson, Victoria Bratton, Hot Start, the Timothy O’Neil Band and Sweet Plot.

There were cocktails and plentiful Suja organic juices. Dinner included grilled chicken and potato and Greek pasta salads.

Guests savored the music and the meal and the place, and they played Cornhole and ping-pong.

There was a fundraising raffle and, naturally, a good deal of conversation about the myriad benefits of food that was grown by neighbors you know or, even better, that you helped to grow yourself.

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