History-sharing day planned at Castro Adobe

WATSONVILLE — Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks will host a history-sharing event Castro Adobe State Historic Park on Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Thanks for the Memories” is a chance for locals and Castro family descendants to visit the new state historic park in the Pajaro Valley and share historic photos of the property and surrounding area. Staff will be on hand to scan the images and add them to the park’s archive and for potential use in the site interpretation. 

Friends staff is also interested in hearing personal stories and anecdotes about the Castro Adobe and families that have resided there.

“Part of restoring and opening the Castro Adobe as a State Historic Park is learning all of the history of the property and interpreting it for the public,” said Bonny Hawley, executive director of Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. “But we need help. Please check your attics, photo albums and even family bibles for information related to the Castro family or the property. We’re crowd-sourcing in the 21st century to get a look at life in the 19th century.”

Friends is trying to solve one mystery in particular — what did the family of Juan Jose Castro and his wife Rita Josefa Pinto Castro look like? To date, no photos of this particular family have surfaced.

Friends is also seeking historic photos that include: 

• Castro family members and nearby rancho families, such as Rodriguez and Amesti

• The Castro property and historic buildings including outbuildings

• Nearby properties and surrounding lands

• Old Adobe Road from various angles

The event also will include tours of the Adobe and is free to attend. Castro Adobe State Historic Park is located at 184 Old Adobe Road in Watsonville. Parking is limited and carpooling is encouraged. For information, visit www.thatsmypark.org. 

For those who cannot attend the event, but still want contribute to the historical archive at Castro Adobe State Historic Park, call 429-1840.


Farm Discovery hosting culinary classes

WATSONVILLE — Farm Discovery is working with local artisans to host culinary classes at Live Earth Farm.

The classes will be held Nov. 11, 18 and Dec. 2 at the farm, located at 172 Litchfield Lane in Watsonville.

Attendees will learn about the traditional American crops, corn beans and squash and how they grow together in the fields and complement each other in the kitchen with Brooks Schmitt of Bruxo on Nov. 11.

On Nov. 18, Emily Beggs of Kin & Kitchen will combine her love of food and diverse cultural traditions with the art of wild crafting and minding the seasons.

The series will end with Chef Diego of Colectivo Felix on cooking with fire on Dec. 2.

Tickets are $85 per person. For information, visit farmdiscovery.org/workshops or email [email protected].


Meetings scheduled on Aptos Library renovations

APTOS — Santa Cruz Public Libraries and the County of Santa Cruz are inviting members of the public to attend a series of meetings to help plan renovations to the Aptos Branch Library.

Opened at its current site in 1975, the Aptos Branch Library, located at 7695 Soquel Drive, includes a large collection, a children’s room, community meeting space and more.

A major renovation and possible expansion will address accessibility, upgrade building systems and enhance the user experience. The project is being funded by Measure S.

Two meetings are planned, with a third to be determined:

• Nov. 13, 7-8 p.m., at the Aptos Branch Library

• Dec. 11, 7-8 p.m., at the Aptos Branch Library


Follies holding pancake breakfast

SANTA CRUZ — A benefit pancake breakfast will be held from 8:30 a.m.-noon Sunday at 222 Market St. in Santa Cruz.

Cost of the breakfast is $8 for adults, $4 for children under age 10. “Grannie’s Attic” will also feature household items and small gifts.

Proceeds will benefit Santa Cruz Follies, a local performing arts group for “over 50” Santa Cruz County citizens.

For information, call SCO at 423-6640.


Free plant-based cooking class covers holiday meals

WATSONVILLE — Mother and daughter team Sally and Kali will demonstrate how to make plant-based holiday meals during a class on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. at the Health Education Center, 700 South Green Valley Road in Watsonville.

The class will include sampling and recipes for gravy, mashed potatoes, “turkey,” cheese biscuits, vegetables and fruit-sweetened pumpkin pie.

To reserve a free spot in the class, call or text 325-7993.


Volunteers needed for Thanksgiving meal and other holiday events

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County has kicked off its busy holiday season.

“Our phone lines always pick up this time of year, with community members and businesses looking for new ways to connect,” said Christina Thurston volunteer mobilization coordinator at the Volunteer Center. 

Each year the Volunteer Center posts an online holiday volunteering guide, which is now available at www.scvolunteercenter.org. Listed in the guide are a variety of holiday-related opportunities available throughout the county for those looking to support their community this month and beyond.

Among those who will be welcoming volunteers for a Thanksgiving meal, will be Volunteer Center staff of the Community Connection Mariposa Wellness Center. The Mariposa Center, a mental health support program, provides classes and activities designed to promote recovery and healthy lifestyle. 

Working in partnership with the City of Watsonville, South County Mental Health, Front Street Inc. and community volunteers, they annually prepare a free Thanksgiving meal open to all mental health clients and their families at the Veterans Memorial Building, 215 East Beach St. in Watsonville.

This year’s event with take place on Nov. 21 from noon to 2 p.m. Organizers are currently looking for volunteers to provide support between 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Volunteers will help with food prep, serving lunch, and clean-up. 

“Each year the community steps forward to bring a range of resources to the table. Collectively, we are able to generate a fabulous meal and a warm welcoming atmosphere,” said Jodie Wells, Volunteer Center South County site manager and program coordinator at the Mariposa Center. 

Business annually provide donations including linens, flowers, gift cards and food supplies. Additionally, community members, families, and service providers are invited to provide food donations and supplies to support the event. Organizers have put out the call for range of donations that include dishware and utensils, pies, take home trays, drinks, table clothes, and traditional thanksgiving sides. 

Interested donors and volunteers can contact Wells at 768-8132, extension 309 or [email protected]

“Together we make this day special in partnership with the mental health community and a dedicated group of volunteers. I love to see how many folks come forward to help each year,” Wells said.


Corralitos Woman’s Club to host wine tasting benefit

CORRALITOS — The Corralitos Woman’s Club is hosting a Wine Tasting Benefit event on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 35 Browns Valley Road in Corralitos from 1-6 p.m.

Tickets for the event are $30, which will include wine tasting, musical entertainment and appetizers. Raffle prizes and auction items including two-night stays in Yosemite will be available.

For advance purchase, visit corralitoswinebenefit.eventbrite.com.

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