Every October, three acres of the McClellands’ cow-haunted pastures pop to life with plump pumpkins in orange, white, and green. Along with the briskly changing foliage, this autumnal bounty heralds a transformation at the dairy. The farm begins to host tours every weekend, granting guests a chance to pet the nursery’s stumbling calves and milk a cow by hand. The family also sets up a winding Hay Maze to confound any bull-man hybrids that wander by. Other activities at the pumpkin patch include a sand box full of the seeds that are used to grow cow feed, a haunted hay trail, and hay rides. After the flurry of fall activity, kids can clamber into a bouncy-house as their parents share some gossip and politely refuse a chew of cud with “the girls,” as Jana McClelland calls her bovine family members.
Virginie Richard, a devout equine enthusiast, opened Mark West Stables more than two decades ago to share her love of horses with students of all ages. She knew she had accomplished her goal when her former student Megan Hernandez came on to work alongside her and instruct new generations of riders.
Together, the two tend to boarded steeds and teach custom lessons in english hunter/jumper-style riding to students of all ages and skill levels, even former riders who want to knock the rust off their old stirrups or horse-shaped motorcycles. Along with lessons, Virginie and Megan offer monthly training programs that supplement tailored instruction with lessons in horse care such as blanketing, medicating, vet appointments, and haircare. During the summer, they also lead fun-filled camps and activities for younger riders.
Because contractors often specialize in specific services, homeowners are left to flip-flop between businesses for large-scale projects. To help alleviate this frustration, At Your Door offers four distinct refurbishment divisions: yard care, housecleaning, handyman work, and taffy pulling. If time remains after removing leafy debris from the yard, clients can solicit a technician for more complicated projects such as gutter cleanings, house painting, or hardwood floor installation.
Sausalito Picture Framing's team of meticulous artisans harnesses more than 20 years of experience when customizing borders to flatter and conserve artwork of all sizes and types. The quaint storefront's walls showcase multitudinous molding samples, waiting patiently to grace the edges of paintings, tapestries, and blue ribbons from hot-dog-eating contests. A library of image-preserving mounting options includes acid-free matting, archival hinging tape, and UV-shunning glass, helping keep keepsakes' colors vibrant for years to come. The shop also hosts a 44-inch Epson 9800 Ultrachrome K3 inks printer, capable of printing family portraits in such high quality that parents often realize their twins aren't identical at all.
In the 1880s, historian and publisher Hubert Howe Bancroft started a 400-acre fruit farm in the Ygnacio Valley that produced walnuts and award-winning Bartlett pears. After being passed down through his family, the farm was rezoned for residential use and sold to developers. The final owner, Philip Bancroft, Jr. Cut down the last walnut orchard in 1971 and gave the remaining three acres of land to his wife Ruth to plant a new garden. Motivated by her lifelong passion for plants, Ruth filled the garden with her large collection of potted succulents and water conserving plants. Through the garden, she discovered how to protect tender plants from winter rains and hard freezes. Her efforts created a dynamic environment with contrasting textures and colors, and Ruth's original succulent, the aeonium 'Glenn Davidson' still grows in the garden, demonstrating the lasting benefits of water conserving plants Today, with the help of a dedicated conservancy, The Ruth Bancroft Garden serves as an example of water conversation with it's range of succulents and 92 varieties of trees including eucalyptus, yucca, aloes, and palm. Visitors can explore the garden's diverse flora through self- and docent-guided tours or attend regular plant sales to take home their own salesman-eating plant. The garden also organizes special events including a fruit-tasting tour and a holiday centerpiece-making workshop.