Laguna Farm takes its name from the body of water it lies next to?the Laguna de Santa Rosa, northern California's largest fresh-water marsh. The marsh provides nourishment to the more than 25-acre organic farm, which coexists with the native oak trees, plants, and wildlife, including song birds and herons. Farmers work to preserve the fertile land while providing Californians with high-quality, pesticide-free food. They offer CSA (community shared agriculture) programs through which participants receive a weekly or bi-weekly box of fresh produce and access to the farm store and vegetable stand. They also sell their produce at area farmers' markets on weekends.
For those who want an up-close look at the farm's operations, they lead tours that teach about farming topics including organic farming, crop rotation, seed saving, water conservation, and regenerative farming practices. These are all practices that they put into place, in addition to soil building and using solar power.
In China, acupuncture developed as a communal practice. Friends and family would lie down in the same room, basking in silence together. At Santa Rosa Community Acupuncture, eighth-generation acupuncturist Viola Huang-Beck believes that "this kind of collective stillness is a rare and precious thing" in modern society. She and two fellow healers have brought communal medicine to Santa Rosa, setting up a spacious treatment room ringed by recliners. Traditional pulse diagnosis takes the place of lengthy patient intakes, and a "collective stillness" pervades instead of the auctioneering that attends most Western acupuncture. Part of a communal approach, the clinic's sliding payment scale makes it easier for patients to come in as often as necessary.
When people are ill, they usually either make a doctor's appointment or lie in bed and wait it out. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has created a third option. Visits to its stores, which are scattered across the western US, are more casual than a doctor's visit but less passive than bed rest. Each location's team of health experts, including credentialed pharmacists, naturopathic doctors, herbalists, nutritionists, and more, consult with customers?no appointment needed.
But Pharmaca aims to serve its customers every day, not just on sick days. Its stores have been drawing droves of clients since 2000, partly because they meet so many needs in just one spot. In addition to a full-service pharmacy, Pharmaca offers organic and food-based vitamins from MegaFood and New Chapter; professional-grade skin care and cosmetics from Jane Iredale, Sanitas, and Dr. Hauschka; and therapeutic-grade supplements from Metagenics and Thorne Research. Customers can also choose from an assortment of homeopathic remedies, herbal formulations, medical supplies, toiletries, gifts, and fair-trade chocolates.
The produce curators at Planet Organics look to the green thumbs of small local farms to shuttle organic fruits and veggies from fields onto area tables in less than 48 hours. An armful of earth's bounty appears eagerly at doorsteps or tree-house ladders, and patrons choose from a case of all fruits, all vegetables, or a half-and-half mix of fruits and vegetables. The organic outfitter ensures freshness by maintaining strict delivery logistics and only recruiting fruits grown for flavor and hereditary dimples rather than longevity. Patrons can keep jonagold apples on necklaces at all times of day to ward off visits from hungry doctors, or add Watsonville strawberries to cool spring salads to delight dinner guests.
At Sizzling Wok, chefs wield fiery-hot woks chock-full of stir-fry dishes from a menu of Chinese specialties such as peking pork, chow mein, and kung pao chicken. Combination plates grant the power of choice to hunger-havers, helping them pack plates with their choice of two stir-fry entrees, chow mein, fried rice, and a crispy fried drumstick ($7.99). Sizzling Wok's cooks learn to juggle up to two quarts of tender chicken breasts, aromatic spices, and crisp vegetables, which they toss into piping-hot woks for dishes such as the peanut- and jalapeño-laced kung pao chicken ($5.99/pt.). Pan-fried pot stickers burst with a filling of tasty meat and vegetables ($3.99 for six) and, when paired with fried tempura shrimp ($4.99 for six), demolish international side-dish-specific cravings.