Sebastopol’s popular Gravenstein Apple Fair has celebrated the locally grown Gravenstein apple for more than 40 years with a weekend gathering every August that always features entertainment, education and lots to eat and drink.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the fair to cancel its in-person event for 2020. Agricultural organization Sonoma County Farm Trails, host of the fundraising fair, officially announced the cancellation in June, writing on the fair’s website, “Though we can hardly imagine August in Sebastopol without the Apple Fair, we are fully on board with the County’s decision to cancel large gatherings. We are so grateful for the health care workers and first responders on the front lines and for all of the essential businesses (farmers/producers, nurseries, grocery store workers, postage and parcel services, etc.) who continue to sustain and support our lives during these unprecedented times.”
Even though the Gravenstein Apple Fair is canceled, Gravenstein apples are still falling off of trees in West Sonoma County this month, and Sonoma County Farm Trails is setting up its first-ever “Grav & Go! Gravenstein Pop-Up” event in Sebastopol this weekend so that Gravenstein apple lovers can at least get the fresh Gravenstein apples and related products they love.
The pop-up will take place at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15 and 16, the same weekend the fair was originally scheduled. Anyone interested in purchasing apples or apple products must preorder online by Thursday, Aug. 13, at Noon.
Sonoma County Farm Trails farmers and producers make all the available products from local Gravenstein Apples. The apple and apple-related items that can be purchased include fresh organic Gravenstein apples, applesauce, apple juice, apple butter and hard cider (note: cider must be ordered on the Tilted Shed Ciderworks’ site due to alcohol sales rules). Other available apple treats include apple pies, hand pies, cider apple doughnuts and much more.
Upon checkout, shoppers will be guided to select which day and time they would like to pick up their order. Show up at your reserved time for contactless curbside pickup of your Gravenstein apples and related items, and enjoy.
For the health and safety of customers and Farm Trails staff and volunteers, facial coverings, social distancing and thorough hand-and-surface sanitization will be implemented at the “Grav & Go! Gravenstein Pop-Up.” Additionally, Farm Trails asks customers to abide by all County and State public health requirements.
Established in 1973, Sonoma County Farm Trails is a nonprofit promoter of local agriculture, and the Gravenstein Apple Fair is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser. Without the benefit of the fair this year, Farm Trails is in need of financial help to continue its efforts to preserve Gravenstein apples and keep farms a vital part of Sonoma County’s culture.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that Farm Trails continues to make good on its mission to preserve farms forever in Sonoma County,” says Farm Trails Board President Vince Trotter, in a statement. “With our main fundraiser off the table, we’re certainly facing some financial challenges this year, but our farmers are fighting through this, and so will we. We’re cutting our expenses to the bone and looking at some creative ways to bring in revenue and make the 2021 fair better than ever.”
“Grav & Go! Gravenstein Pop-Up” takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15 and 16, at Sebastopol Community Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. Online orders must be placed by Thursday, Aug. 13, at noon. FarmTrails.org.