Pasta Prego – Back after five years and better than ever!

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By John & Dorothy Salmon

We recently had the pleasure of dining with our wonderful friend, Lauren Ackerman of Ackerman Family Vineyards, at Pasta Prego in their new restaurant at 1502 Main Street, in the space formerly occupied by Biscuits.  For long-time locals, thinking of Pasta Prego and Marco Ruiz, its Chef, always makes us smile and remember his fantastic dishes such as Pasta Diablo, Chicken Marsala, and other warm thoughts of great food at reasonable prices, served with a smile and genuine friendship.

For those who frequented Pasta Prego when it was on Jefferson Street five years ago, the new and exciting Pasta Prego on Main Street is such a gift!  Pasta Prego’s owner, Matthew Miersch, is a third generation Napan, who knows a good thing when he sees it and clearly did a great job turning the former Biscuits space into a lovely, classy and well-designed dinner house for 58 guests.

We were greeted at the door by Matthew Miersch, who was upbeat, friendly and very proud of the new and upscale Pasta Prego. Matthew always loved Marco Ruiz and Pasta Prego’s food, so it is like a family reunion to enter the new Pasta Prego. The interior of Pasta Prego on Main Street is done in soft, brown and tan tones and, interestingly, separates diners from each other with lovely half-drapes, soft lighting, an open bar at the end of the dining room and lovely tables that, as we learned over dinner, were handmade with love by the staff when the tables ordered from a restaurant supply company were delayed. Home Depot and teamwork to the
rescue once again!

Soft Italian music plays in the background and, as you walk in, there is a big Pasta Prego Welcome Mat in front of the buffet that holds a large vase of freshly-cut grapevines. Pasta Prego is currently open only for dinner.  We hope that changes soon. The black and white photos on the walls are courtesy of Laura Norcia Vitale, a freelance film photographer. They are beautiful, and for sale as well.

Back in the kitchen, preparing some of the best food you will ever taste, are the three amigos…Chef Marco Ruiz, Benjamin Salgado and Pasqual Villanueva. All three have been together on and off for years and make heavenly food! We
got to give Marco Ruiz a hug and congratulate him on his latest venture on Main Street.

We were served by Vianney, a lovely woman from American Canyon and a graduate of Vintage High School. There are LOTS of locals at Pasta Prego. In fact, most of the folks in the restaurant that night were locals who were all happy to see Pasta Prego back in the “hood.” We had fun talking to Vianney about Napa and the changes in the past few years, and finally got to ordering our dinner. We ordered a bottle of Hall 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($36) and then were treated to the Smoked Salmon antipasti with capers & red onion, all placed on a bed of sweet-corn pancake with lemon aioli ($12) and Marco’s famous Pan Roasted Polenta with wild mushrooms in a brandy sauce ($10). Both were amazing and disappeared very quickly! John then tried the Bruschetta ($8), which he loved. We were all delighted to be reunited with Marco’s food!

For dinner, Lauren ordered the Golden and Red Beet Salad, with baby greens, goat cheese, roasted almonds, and red wine vinaigrette ($10) and the Penne Pasta, with smoked chicken, marinated tomatoes, mozzarella, and a basil marinara sauce ($20). She thought the Penne Pasta and the salad both wonderful. John had the long–honored, Pasta Diablo, with large grilled prawns wrapped with pancetta, on a bed of spaghetti, with broccoli, garlic, chili flakes and olive oil ($23). We laughed about earlier times that we had Marco make the Pasta Diablo for dinner parties because nobody makes it like he does. Of course, John’s Pasta Diablo was the best! Dorothy ordered the Rock Shrimp Salad, served on baby greens with red onions, tomatoes, cucumber and a citrus vinaigrette ($14) and the Risotto, made with parmesan cheese, marinated tomatoes,  mushrooms and Sicilian sausage ($22), which was amazing!

Pasta Prego’s wine list is almost all Napa Valley wines at reasonable prices to please any local or visitor.  If you bring your own wine into Pasta Prego, there is a $15 corkage fee. However; the fee is waived for each 750 ml bottle purchased there. All in all, a great deal for a dinner out with fabulous food, great ambiance, a beloved chef and a lot of your friends and neighbors sitting nearby.

After hugging Marco and telling him how much we love the new rendition of Pasta Prego, Vianney “forced us” to try the Tiramisu ($8) which, of course, melted in our mouths as three forks attacked it, before we waddled out of the restaurant. You won’t be disappointed if you try Pasta Prego on Main Street. March Ruiz’s famous Margherita Pizza is
on the menu along with hishomemade Ravioli filled with spinach, ricotta, and parmesan cheese, served with citrus cream and marinara sauce ($19), his Fettuccine with sautéed chicken breast, prosciutto, fresh peas and a white wine garlic sauce ($20), just to name a couple of the all-time favorites that locals love and visitors will fall in love with too.

It was so great to see Marco in the kitchen again after a five year hiatus. His story is one of the great American success stories. Marco emigrated from Guatemala in the 1980’s. He began his culinary career as a dishwasher and quickly was in the kitchen with Donna Scala at Piatti’s in Yountville, and then worked with Greg Cole and other well-known chefs in the Napa Valley.

Pasta Prego is back, better than ever. We love it and you will too!

1502 Main Street | Napa, CA | (707) 492-8026

Open daily for dinner 5:00 to 9:30 p.m.

RECIPE:

Chicken Marsala

Ingredients:

1 double boneless chicken breast

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

3 tablespoon bread crumbs

¼ cup Marsala cooking wine

¼ cup veal stock

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

6 ounces of cooked spaghetti

1 cup sliced mushrooms

Cut the chicken in half. In a large skillet heat the olive oil, add the chicken and sauté over medium heat until it’s a golden brown on both sides. Put the chicken in the oven for about 5 minutes, and then add the mushrooms, sautéed until they are soft. Add the garlic, Marsala, veal stock and butter reduced down for 30 seconds. Add more veal stock,
if necessary.

Cook the spaghetti in salted water and drain well. In a large skillet add the olive oil, bread crumbs, and garlic, sautéed over medium heat for about 5 seconds. Finally, toss the spaghetti with all the ingredients.

Serve the spaghetti on the plate first, then place the chicken on top and add the sauce on top of the chicken.

Hundreds of Vintage Cars – Twice!

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Getting to see the cars of yesteryear, restored to pristine condition, continue to delight the thousands of Napans who attend Main Street Reunion Car Show every year. Now in its 12th year, the show has grown into two events, spread out over Friday and Saturday.

The 400, pre-1976, vintage cars that display at the Main Street Reunion Car Show come primarily from Northern California, but as the show has grown in popularity, entries have come from Southern California, Nevada, and even Arizona. A surprising number of entries are local. “I’m always impressed to see how many really great cars there are that I don’t know about, right here in Napa,” said Mike Phillips, who is organizing the show for the third year. Phillips is a member of the Napa Valley Cruisers, the car club that has hosted the show with the Downtown Napa Association (DNA) since the beginning. It’s been a great partnership, according to Craig Smith with the DNA.

“The Cruisers wanted to do a car show for years, but had trouble navigating through the red tape to pull it off,” said Smith. “When they first approached our organization, they challenged me to help get it off the ground. Later, I got a ribbing for being in charge of securing the Three P’s: permits, police and porta-potties.”

The crowds that come out to see the cars get bigger every year, but it’s never too crowded. “The show covers eight blocks and four parking lots, which spreads things out nicely,” said Smith.

Three years ago, Dennis Gage, host of Speed TV’s “My Classic Car,” visited Main Street Reunion, and made the car show the subject of an episode.  “I know Main Street is a beautiful show,” said Phillips, “but seeing it on TV made me appreciate it in a whole new way.”  Hoteliers say they are now booking rooms from people visiting specifically to see the car show.

For the third year, the weekend begins with a Friday night Show & Shine, to be held at the Copia parking lot, next to the Oxbow Public Market. “A Show & Shine event the night before the car show gives everybody another chance to see the cars in more of a party atmosphere,” said Tammy Robinette, president of the Cruisers, and the brains behind Show & Shine. “People can check out all the great cars, enjoy something to eat and drink, plus listen to good music. How great is that?”   

Show & Shine features live music performed by the Evan Thomas Blues Band which will definitely have people dancing. Enjoy the food from the Oxbow Public Market or any downtown restaurant before, or during, and you’ve got a great Friday Night.

Trophies are a part of every show. Two will be awarded at Show & Shine, and more than forty will be given at Saturday’s Main Street Reunion. The cost to register a car for Main Street Reunion is $35 ($40 after August 8th). Show & Shine is limited to 150 cars, and pre-registration is required. A portion of registration fees will be donated to the Pathway Home. Applications are available at DoNapa.com, or by calling 257-0322.

Sponsored by Blue Moon and Heineken beers, Team Superstores, Bank of Napa, Napa Valley Marketplace, The North Bay Bohemian, and KVON/KVYN. Without their generous support, the show would not be possible. Visit DoNapa.com for full details.

Show & Shine Car Show Preview

August 14th – 5 to 8:30pm

Main Street Reunion Car Show

August 15th – 10am to 3pm

Napa Porchfest: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

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By Evy Warshawski

Photo Credit: Aileen Savage

O

n Sunday, July 26, from 12noon-6pm, hundreds of local musicians from throughout Napa County will play their hearts out in and around downtown Napa.

Sponsored by Napa County Landmarks, Porchfest has grown into a “not to be missed” afternoon showcase, featuring grassroots musical styles as diverse as the architecturally-eclectic, front porches transformed to serve as “stages.”

Last summer’s attendance topped 10,000 (not including accompanying pets!) with families and friends opting to leisurely stroll, jog or bike from one historic block to the next, inspired by the mellifluous sounds of guitars, drums, and voices in the air.

Acoustic solo, singer-songwriter, Shelby Lanterman, has played Porchfest each year and appreciates both the discovery of, and networking, with fellow musicians.  “Not only do I get to play on the coolest stages,” she said, “but I get to see all of Napa’s best musicians do their thing.  You couldn’t ask for a better format to show off your stuff.  Plus, I love how the community comes together to enjoy music all day long.”

Porchfest was born in 2011 from a Facebook post, followed by a meeting of the minds of three dynamic women: award-winning writer and broadcaster, Louisa Hufstader, then based in Napa;   Thea Witsil, entrepreneur and owner of Wildcat Vintage Clothing; and Juliana Inman, architect and member of the Napa City Council.

Earlier that year, Hufstader had shared her discovery of a similar festival taking place in Somerville, Massachusetts.  With friends and fellow volunteers, Witsil and Inman and sponsorship support from Napa County Landmarks, the booking of bands and porches, plus a cadre of helpers, Napa’s Porchfest was created and enthusiastically embraced!

Music coordinator, Witsil, and her team set the ground rules for band participation.  In order to qualify, at least one member must be living or working in Napa.  The breadth of local musical talent and popularity of Porchfest during the past four years speaks volumes today:  100 bands will be strumming on 50 porches at this year’s annual event.

(Note:  Sign-ups for 2016 begin January 1 and run through May 31.  All registered bands will now have to provide its own porch, and every porch host must provide its own band.  For information, visit napaporchfest.org).

Brother/sister acoustic-pop duo, Journey Day & Jade Luvdae has played every Porchfest to date.  “We’ve had so much fun,” commented Luvdae, “and it’s a great way to hear what our local talent has to offer.  There is nothing more enjoyable than walking around beautiful downtown Napa and listening to several different genres being played.  From reggae to pop, there’s a little something for everyone.”

Napa County Library’s parking lot, located at 580 Coombs Street, will serve as “action central” for Porchfest maps, schedules, t-shirt sales and food trucks.  (Bathrooms will also be available at this location and on Action Avenue as well).

One Porchfest band, Napa-based, Serf & James, recently won a KITS/Live 105 contest in which they had to write a jungle for the San Francisco-based radio’s morning show.  As winners, the band played live for the station’s “BFD Concert” at Shoreline Amphitheater the following week.

“My son, Serf, is the lead singer, “said Paula Barto. “Great voice, lyricist and, most importantly a clean-cut, nice, human being.  Their music is wonderful … similar to perhaps, Coldplay.”

So, on July 26, as you’re enjoying the variety of sights and sounds that comprise Porchfest, be aware that you just might be witness to the next big “stars” headlining Bottlerock in the very near future!

(Volunteers and donations are still
needed.   Sign up at the Tuesday Farmer’s Market or online at
napaporchfest.org. Updates can also be found on Facebook at Napa Porchfest).

Napa’s Hippest Jam: Hooping

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By Lisa Adams Walter         

Photos by Allison Andres

What do a still–thriving, ’90s-era band, high-end, circus performers a Native-American dance, and an unparalleled, 1950’s toy-turned-fad have in common? You guessed it: hoops!

Four years ago, a few, local women founded Napa Hoopers, a play group for hoop dance, exercise, body flow and circus–arts-enthusiasts, as well as an easy and joyful place for anyone who is interested in enjoyable, healthy, body movement. The group meets regularly, and hosts monthly hoop jams.

“Hoops have an accessibility that many forms of exercise lack. Hooping makes you feel like a kid – again! It’s hard to not laugh and smile while you’re hooping. Many hoopers, and even newcomers that participate in our monthly jams, have fond memories of hooping as a child, and it’s great to bring those back to the surface,” said Lilea Duran, Napa Hoopers Co-founder, hoop dance instructor, and performer.

Many of us remember hula hoops from our childhood; others may recall the intricate and purposeful hoop dances of some Native American tribes; more recently, the independent band, The String Cheese Incident threw hoops into their crowded, live-concert audiences

in the mid-90’s, sparking a more–recent, hooping trend. Eventually, hooping at large music festivals, such as Burning Man and Coachella, and also recently spotted at BottleRock ensued. “Hoops are inexpensive to make or to purchase; they’re portable, so you can hoop at home, at a friend’s house, or at a local park,” reports Duran. Hoops are obviously appropriate for the live music scene too.

When asked about the history of hoops, Duran said that the history of the hoop would really be a story of its own, “There is evidence that Egyptian children used to play games with hoops made out of dried grapevines; ancient Greeks used hoops for exercise and you can find many depictions of Ganymede holding a hoop. Hoop dancing is a form of storytelling with the Native Americans dating back to the 1400s. Many will be familiar with the story of Wham-O popularizing hula hoops in the US in the 1950s!”

Duran, who helps organize the free, monthly, Hoop Jams in Downtown Napa is completely dialed in about the benefits of hooping. “Lots of people hoop for health, myself included. It is a low-impact, fun way to exercise. It’s a great ab workout, but it is also a great, full-body workout. Hooping uses up to 30 different muscles.” The American Council on Exercise has even published a study about the benefits of effective hooping which found that hooping burns an average of seven calories per minute for a total of about 210 calories during a 30-minute, hooping workout.

“Hooping is great for spine flexibility and strength, works on balance and hand-eye coordination and, maybe my favorite benefit, hooping makes us feel happy! We get a wonderful burst of endorphins, while having fun and staying active,” Duran added.

In regard to the multiple benefits of hooping, others agree. Napa County included the Napa Hoopers Hoop

Jams as part of their obesity-prevention program and the Napa Hoopers have participated in multiple, community events, such as the Earth Day Celebration, the Napa 4th of July Parade and Public Health Week.

There are some famous and hip hoopers out there too, or “hoopsters,” as I like to call them. “There are lots of hoop stars in the world,” reports Duran, who cites Cirque du Soleil with staging hoop contortion acts, a hooper named Karis who has appeared with Christina Aguilera, hooping in several, well-known, music videos, with artists such as Pink and other public figures, such as First Lady Michelle Obama and actress and singer Zooey Deschanel who have simply fallen in love with hooping!

The most evident hoops development that Duran has seen is in regard to how modern hoops are produced, “Technology plays a big role in modern hooping. Some people dance with fire hoops, which have several
lighted wicks attached. Others use hoops filled with LEDs that create incredible visual patterns.”

Duran reports that you don’t have to commit to a huge investment of time to begin to feel the results of hooping; even seven to eight minutes a day can begin to make a change. Every monthly jam begins with a 15-minute, warm-up session, and plenty of experienced hoopers around to help anyone get started.

As a Hoop Instructor at Wine Country CrossFit, Duran believes that the best way to begin is to take a class, “An instructor can provide instant feedback and correction to help you find success. A class also helps you find a community through hooping. It’s easy to make friends when you’re both struggling with a move and the triumph is literally audible when students find breakthroughs together. There hasn’t been a single
hoop class I’ve taken part in where there weren’t
cheers and encouragement heard among participants.” Sounds easy, sounds fun! Get out there and hoop!

Visit and “Like” the Napa Hoopers Facebook page at facebook.com/Napa-Hoopers
where you can also click on the “Events” tab to find a list of upcoming hooper events.

For information about hooping classes visit: facebook.com/SunglowHoopDance/events

Napa Hoopers Monthly Hoop Jam

Third Wednesday of the Month: 6–7:30pm

Veterans Park Downtown Napa

Napa Valley LGBTQ Pride

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By Kristin Ranuio

Napa Valley LGBTQ Pride week takes place this year from June 11-18. A group of all volunteers, known as the LGBTQ Pride committee, spent around five months planning to ensure a wide range of activities and events with something for everyone. It begins Thursday, June 11, with “Q at the Q!” Napa Pride Kickoff Celebration at the Q Restaurant & Bar in Bel Air Plaza from 5:30 to 9 PM. Come, order up some of your favorite barbecue and other culinary delights at a social event to welcome everyone to a week of Pride celebrations. A low-key affair, it is the perfect way to start the week and connect with friends, old and new.

Friday, June 12, means it’s time for the Fogata Bonfire at LGBTQ Connection on Lincoln Ave. from 7:30 to 10:30 PM. The Spanish word for bonfire, Fogata is a night filled with fire pits, food, and fun. The casual affair brought new faces last year, and is especially popular with the younger crowd. There is no cost, making it a free night and a good time.

Saturday, June 16, has two events, one during the day, and another adult-only celebration in the evening. From noon until three, the Got Unity? Pride Family Picnic takes place at Crane Park bocce courts in St. Helena. Another free event, it is an opportunity for families and friends of all ages to come together for a relaxed afternoon of fun, hosted by UnityNapa, formerly known as Unity League.

When night falls, the 21-and-over crowd can head over to City Winery for an evening of comedy and dancing. Called, “Saturday Night Live meets Saturday Night Fever”, the night begins with three comedians taking the stage to entertain and delight. Afterwards, local DJ, Rotten Robbie, takes over for a night of dancing. Comedy is from 6 to 8 PM, dancing from 8:30 PM to midnight. Tickets are $20 per event, or $35 for both; doors open at 5 PM. There will be a no-host bar and City Winery will have its menu available to order from. Reservations can be made for dinner that night, and are highly recommended.

Sunday means it’s time for Drag Brunch at the newly-reopened Carpe Diem Wine Bar, another event for the 21 and over crowd. While enjoying brunch, come see drag kings and queens entertain and mingle with the crowd from 11 AM to 3 PM.

Monday also has two activities planned. The first is the Youth & Senior Intergenerational Luncheon from 12 to 2 PM at Napa Valley Lutheran Church. This is a chance to bring generations together to share stories, wisdom, and camaraderie. Monday night offers something for just the younger crowd, 20 and under, with “Night with the Stars,” a youth-Pride dance at Black and White Center. Committee member, Ian Stanley, is especially fond of this event. “It’s something I couldn’t have dreamed of as a youth,” he said.

Tuesday, June 16, brings options, with two events in the spirit of supporting local businesses being held in the evening. Pride Night at Oxbow Market is being held from 5 to 8 PM, and Pride Wine Tasting at Mark Herold Wine Tasting Room, across the street, is going from 7:30 – 9 PM With the close proximity to each other, it would be easy to do both.

All day Wednesday, June 17th, there is a Pride Pizza-Party Dine & Donate event at Mary’s Pizza Shack, and the ice cream social at Monarcas, benefiting PFLAG. Although both events are going strong all day long, there are meet-ups planned from 12-2 PM and 5-7 PM.

To round out the week, on Thursday, June 18, from 6 to 9:30 PM, we close with a film and art show at Black and White Center, featuring the film, Sin Visa. Sin Visa explores the struggles and triumphs of an undocumented student and the challenges he faces, including within his own community. The 84 minute film will be shown, along with an art show featuring the work of Napa actor and artist, Edgar-Arturo Camacho-Gonzalez, who also stars in the film. Two other short films from Zarco Films; Lluvia Fria, and Bi.das will also be screened.

This year, Pride lanyards will again be available. Pick one up at the Napa Farmers’ Market or any Pride event for five dollars. Get your lanyard scanned at each event you attend for an entry into a drawing for a variety of prizes.

Napa Valley LGBTQ Pride week is open to all, and offers something for everyone. All ages, sexual orientations, and ethnicities are invited and welcome to participate in the week’s fun, safe, and welcoming events designed not only for a good time, but to bring the entire

community together.

Molly’s Angels Needs You!

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By Lisa Adams Walter

Sometimes the simple things mean the most. Small acts can make a big difference, and leave a lasting and important legacy. In Napa, the simple act of placing a large pickle jar on a restaurant counter more than 15 years ago created a community of care by some local “angels.”

In the late 1990s, Molly Banz, then a Napa restaurateur, learned of a local family hit with an enormous tragedy. Family members, and their home, were lost in a devastating fire. With her unstoppable spirit and desire to help, Molly rallied her customers by simply placing a pickle jar on the restaurant counter to encourage customers to give what they could to help the surviving family members pay for funeral expenses. Quarters, pennies, five dollar bills, along with a few Benjamins and dimes, began to fill the jar. Molly’s customers, who became known as “angels,” paid for the final expenses for that family AND raised enough to help them also relocate to a new home. Molly’s Angels was born!

Molly had a simple plan: if everyone in Napa County would donate $1 per month, there would be plenty of money to help those in need due to catastrophic events. Over the years, thousands of people, ranging from children to the elderly, have been helped. Referrals from social workers, neighbors and friends of those in need, as well and the needy themselves, reach out.

Molly’s Angels has evolved mainly into a free transportation program for any senior citizen who resides in Napa County. Angels will even assist by taking Napans to medical appointments out of town to important facilities such as U.C.S.F. Medical Center, Kaiser Hospital Vallejo and Kaiser Hospital Vacaville.    

The existence of this important, non-profit service relies on two things: monetary donations and gifts of time. “We rely on volunteers to assist with driving the client. They will pick up the client at their house, stay with them during the appointment, and will also take the clients grocery shopping or to pick up their medication after the appointment,” said Nicole Pfister, Director of Volunteers for Molly’s Angels.

The staff at Molly’s Angels repeatedly hears, “If it were not for Molly’s Angels, I would not be able to get to my doctor.”   One local resident even said that, “If it weren’t for Molly’s Angels I would have lost my leg!”

Molly’s Angels client, Sharon Haeckl, remembers that when Molly’s Angels came into their lives, she and her husband and were both nearly bedridden, without

family nearby, “Their loving and friendly staff gave us quality care and service. They provided transportation to numerous doctor appointments without complaint or cost. Without their services we would not be here today.  It was like a light in the window when Molly’s Angels arrived.”

When asked how Molly’s Angels has helped, Hedy Kinder started singing, “You light up my life!”  She went on to explain, “Molly’s Angels has enriched my life and has given me a better quality of life. They have taken away some of my worries and doubts. They go above and beyond my expectations.”

Absolutely critical to the mission that the late Molly Banz started are the volunteers, such as Andrea Stover who said, “I want to do something to help others and this is one of the things that is easy to do and very rewarding. The people are very nice and so appreciative for the service. They don’t have complete control of their lives anymore and this is a way for them to regain some control. It provides options for seniors and helps them to not feel like a burden to their families.”

Circumstances sometimes necessitate the creation of a custom program for special needs, of which there are many. Additional programs in which Molly’s Angels participates include: “Access Adventures,” which provides outdoor recreation, open space access, education and therapy through a working partnership with horses; “Share the Care” which is a Napa County-based peer-to-peer program that connects older adults in need of assistance with advocacy, referrals and support for well-being and quality of life; “Celebrating Seniors” a festival, with food, information and fun for seniors
and “A Senior Wish” developed to make a wish come true for several seniors.

Molly’s Angels is always seeking, and needs, new “angels” – so if you are moved to do some simple things to help, call (707) 224-8971 send an email to mollysangels@mollysangels.com or visit the website
at mollysangels.com.

Include the Food!

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Curbside food-composting is now available to all Napa Recycling customers!

Reducing what we send to landfills just got easier!  Now, all customers of Napa Recycling & Waste Services (NRWS) in the City of Napa and Napa County Recycling & Waste Services (NCRWS) in southern, unincorporated Napa County can put food scraps and food-soiled paper in the brown compost cart…it’s not just for yard waste anymore!

When organic materials, such as  food scraps, end up in landfills, they generate methane, a powerful, greenhouse gas, but composting organic materials eliminates this greenhouse gas production and creates valuable compost that can be used in landscapes and agriculture to build soil nutrients, conserve water, and reduce the need for fertilizers.

What can you compost?  Lots of Items!  All food scraps are accepted, including meat and bones, dairy, bread, fruits, and veggies.  Also, include food-soiled paper, coffee cups, paper towels and napkins, and coffee grounds, filters and tea bags.  Food scraps typically make up over 26% of what households throw away.  When you add other compostable items, such as paper napkins, coffee grounds and paper cups, it’s easy to see how composting will significantly reduce what we send to the landfill.

So, when can you start?  Today!  To help you get started, NRWS/NCRWS will provide all customers with a handy, kitchen-compost pail, starting in April. The pails will be delivered over the next few months – but you don’t need to wait for the pail; you can start putting food scraps and food-soiled paper in your brown cart right away!

This “SureClose” kitchen container being delivered to all NRWS/NCRWS customers has many great features for easy use.  Place your pail in a convenient location in your kitchen.  You can also utilize a can, bucket or any other container that suits your needs and available space.  Many plastic, metal, wooden, and ceramic options can be found locally and online. For best results, empty the container daily or line your container with newspaper, paper bags, or approved compostable bags to help keep your pail clean and reduce odors. Collect food scraps while preparing meals, scraping plates and cleaning out the refrigerator of unwanted leftovers or spoiled food. Remember to include paper towels, napkins, paper plates and coffee cups. It all adds up!

Empty your kitchen compost pail, including the liner, into your brown compost rolling cart as frequently as you like. Place your cart out for weekly pickup on your regular collection day.  The collected food, soiled paper and yard waste material goes to Napa’s Recycling & Composting Facility, which is being upgraded to turn it all into organically-certified compost that will be available for purchase for home gardens, landscaping, and agricultural uses.

A successful pilot-program was conducted in three Napa neighborhoods.  When surveyed, two out of three households within the pilot area reported participating in the program.  On average, these households saw a 24% decrease in the volume of their household trash!  Here is what one pilot-program participant had to say: “Some neighbors say it is too difficult to separate garbage. It’s really not!  Make it a way of life!  Just think- everything one composts goes into making dirt which is rich in nutrients.  Compost in the ground will help nurture a better growing environment for all!”

If you’re a backyard composter already – great! This curbside program allows you to compost meat, dairy, and some paper products that aren’t recommended for backyard bins.  Our state and local goal is to divert at least 75% of material away from landfills by 2020, and this can only become a reality if everyone recycles and composts as much as possible.

How will curbside food composting make a difference?  Households compost an average of 10 pounds per week through curbside food composting programs – that’s 520 pounds per year per household.  If every household in Napa participates, we’ll be keeping roughly 7000 TONS each year out of the landfill! Composting eliminates the powerful greenhouse gasses created when organic materials end up in landfills, and using Napa’s organic compost enriches the soil naturally, prevents erosion, conserves water and closes the loop locally and sustainably.

There is no separate or additional fee to participate in the curbside food- composting program.  The program is part of the normal monthly rate for all NRWS/NCRWS customers, and the brown compost cart will continue to be picked up weekly, along with your single-stream, curbside recycling and trash services.  The only change is that customers will now be able to include all food scraps and other compostables in the brown compost cart.  Customers who choose not to use the provided kitchen compost pail can feel free to use the pail for another purpose or give it to a neighbor.  The pail can also be returned to the NRWS/NCRWS payment center at 592 Lincoln Avenue.

You can learn more tips on this exciting
new program at

naparecycling.com/
residential-food-composting.