Reviews and Acknowledgements
For The Organic Guides

Here are some of the reviews and acknowledgements I've received for the Organic Guides, and for my work nurturing local organics and a healthier, less-toxic world. THANK YOU to everyone who helps make this work possible!

For more about The Organic Guides, see:

The Organic Guide to San Francisco

The Organic Guide to Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties
(aka Wine Country. The most recent edition was released in 2005.)
Note: This edition was previously called "The Organic Traveler's Guide to the Wine Country"

"Visitors to Northern California will want to get a copy of The Organic Traveler's Guide to the Wine Country before exploring that popular tourist destination. The handy resource lists farmers' markets, wineries, grocery stores, breweries, and restaurants - all located in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties - that feature organic products."

Bon Appetit magazine (December 1998)

"Plan a relaxing and healthy getaway to northern California's wine country using The Organic Traveler's Guide, a comprehensive index of organic wineries, restaurants, bakeries and farmers' markets in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties...This cornucopia of organic delights will enlighten you to the best places to wine and dine, plus provide resource information on the true value of organics, educational opportunities, less-toxic gardening, and more."

Delicious Living magazine (April 2001, p. 18)
here for full article. (Delicious Living is distributed to health food stores across the U.S. Also, this book is now called The Organic Guide to Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties. )

"Had it up to here with pesticides, genetically-modified foods, toxins in fertilizers, dying species, and polluted air and water? Soothe your soul with a peek at the ultimate healthful resource, The Organic Guide to Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties, available from Community Action Publications, a Sebastopol-based volunteer-supported community group....'The North Bay is a very special place and we need to treasure what's precious here," says author Patricia Dines.' "

The Bohemenian (Sept 6 2001, p. 9) From their review of the Guide in "Morsels," which describes both Guides.

>> Guide author Patricia Dines was also featured in their story "Green Kitchens."

>> Plus the Guide was used as input in "Fruit of the Vine," their story on organic wines.

Green Gardener logo

"The Organic Guide to San Francisco, is equal parts travel guide, shopping adviser, political pamphlet and community-building tool.... [It's] an all-purpose primer on the rapidly expanding world of organic living [and] ... packed with information. Dines says she wanted this to be "an insanely useful book, rich and lush with nutrient-rich information." ... Section III is worth the $9.95 price of admission alone: It's a dense compendium of useful resources on topics as wide ranging as federal organic standards to community gardens. The book is well documented, and the endnotes made interesting reading, too."

Lisa Van Clee

f, Green Gardener, Special to SF Gate (8/29/2001) SF Gate is the San Francisco Chronicle's website. Click here for full article.

"Ah, organic, locally grown food! It's fresh, tasty, and it may be one of the best-kept secrets of the Bay Area.... But ... where does all the good stuff go? ... It's the drama of underexposed organics.

"But Patricia Dines is trying to change that, one shop and one shopper at a time. Dines edits, publishes, and markets The Organic Guide to Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino Counties. She calls it an 'empowerment guide' for living the organic lifestyle... 'The book answers three important questions: What is organic, why should you care, and where can you get it?' says Dines... 'Everything you need is in one book.'

"Dines became an organics activist soon after her move to Sebastopol from San Francisco, about eight years ago. Less than a month after she moved here, she was exposed to [apple orchard pesticide] spraying near her house. 'The issues of toxics got me into this, but I decided that organics was the positive solution.'

"She created her first organic-food guide in 1998 as a 36-page directory... These days the listings for farms, natural-food stores and farmers' markets continue to dominate, but the book has expanded ... [and] listings now include consumer information for hemp products and home furnishings ... [and] Dines is adding a nontoxic pest-control section. And that's just the second half of the book.

"The first half is a veritable Cliffs Notes, with easy-to-follow essays and sidebars pertaining to topics in organics and local agriculture, from pesticides to community-supported agriculture [CSA] farms. 'Some of these topics can be hard, but I try to make them easy,' says Dines. 'I'm writing for people who aren't necessarily immersed in this stuff and supporting them in taking concrete, constructive steps.'

"Even longtime devotees of the organic lifestyle will find plenty to chew on, what with the detailed footnotes and the readings list. And new eateries and stores open all the time ... so that few readers will know about all the listings....

"Now that the guide has taken off for the North Bay, Dines is taking on San Francisco, with the first edition of The Organic Guide to San Francisco due out in May as well.... 'I'm trying to demonstrate what opportunities exist for [people] right here in the city,' Dines says. '[Cities use] such a huge amount of resources that if even a small amount of that is organic, it means a huge impact for local growers and producers.'

"It may seem like a lot to take on - both consumer awareness and industry openness - but like so many environmental activists, Dines is fueled by an urgent sense of the need for change now. 'We're at a crucial time in agriculture,' she says. 'It's an easy phrase to use, but I think it's true. The struggle is very visible in our part of the world. Are we going to continue to have small, local farms, or are they going to shut down and we're going to get food from large factory farms that use toxic chemicals? What would that mean? It would change the character of the area entirely.' "

Marina Wolf, San Francisco Chronicle (Cultivating Interest in Organics, March 23, 2001, NB7)

>> The Organic Guide to San Francisco was also featured in "
Organics Get a City Guide" (San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 15 2001, Food p. 2).

Bay Area Backroads logo

The Organic Traveler's Guide was featured on Bay Area Backroads. This highly-respected TV show offers recommendations for travel in the Bay Area. It showed the Guide and asked Patricia Dines for her top three "picks" for Napa organic places. The show first aired Nov. 1999 and periodically shows again in reruns. Here's the main website Brief story notes and video for our episode are here.

"If you want to discover or rediscover the 'joy and deep wisdom of growing organic food, eating it together,' and immersing yourself in nature and northern California communities, ask for this guide."

"Go Organic" (review) EcoNews: Newsletter of the
North Coast Environmental Center (August 2000, p.13)

The Guide was highlighted in the "Positive Notes" section of Earth Island Journal, a periodical that covers a variety national and international environmental news. They also gave us their Positive Notes Award, "For raising the stakes and raising the hopes for a world with a future." (Summer 1998, p.5, circulation 20,000)

"We learned about Harmony [Farm Supply] from The Organic Traveler's Guide, an indispensible reference."

Herb Hiller, St. Petersburg Times (Nov. 7, 1999) 
Mr. Hiller's article "Toasting the Wine Country," focussed on northern California organics.
He used the Guide in his travels to write this article.


"An outstanding guide to northern California's wine country (including Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa Counties)."

Joseph Keon, PhD, The Truth About Breast Cancer:
A 7-Step Prevention Plan (in the Resources section)

"[This Guide is] Charmingly designed and illustrated... If you are going [to California's Wine Country] or know someone with MCS [Multiple Chemical Sensitivity] who is, this new publication would be indispensable."

Lynn Lawson, Canary News (July/August 1998) 
This is a health and environmental newsletter for people made sick by and sensitive to chemicals.Canary refers to people with MCS being like canaries in the coal mine, warning us all of the harm and future world health if we continue poisoning ourselves with these enormous levels of toxics.

"I keep the Guide on top of my desk and keep browsing it while I'm on hold on the phone. It really packs a lot of great info in a small space. Thanks for your hard work. Good job!"

Bu Nygrens, Veritable Vegetable (first organic wholesaler in the U.S.)

"If you haven't already seen The Organic Guide to Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties and are interested in the health of the local food system (in this instance, northern California), check out this well-researched book by Patricia Dines. The Guide should receive some kind of award for how organized and well-designed it is.

"I keep a copy near my desk and use it as a reference to inform friends, farm advisors, food system groups and others about the resources that exist in our bountiful part of the country. I see the Guide as a kind of Lonely Planet travel guide with listing code symbols, all the great commentary on the farm, restaurant, store, etc, and the map to locate the organic haven.

"But more than that, the history and updates of such things as the Hidden Costs of the Food System, food accessibility, farmer compensation, and consumer right-to know-issues are covered for the benefit of those who desire to chose organic but don't always know the philosophical reasons behind organic food and farming systems.

"I honestly believe that the Guide should be required reading for any institution of higher learning teaching classes on agricultural sustainability and food systems. Check it out for yourself."

James Johnson, The Quantum Agriculture Project

"I think your guide is terrific and a must have, will sell for our store!!! It is very good, comprehensive. Excellent! I am grateful for your careful work...This stuff is my passion .... Your book is a Godsend."

Barbara Iannoli, North Light Books and Cafe

"Please send [both Guides to my friend's address]. I ordered these publications for myself and found them extremely informative and interesting. I've told several friends about them."

Susan L

"Your newest guide is just fabulous! Keep up the good work, you are doing a GREAT service for the environment and people who love her!"

Diane Cooner, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)

"This Guide is a real contribution to us as human beings and to where we live. I'm going to buy as many copies as I can!"

Rich Switzer, local playwrightt

"The Guide is fabulous -- there's still nothing else like it."

Nina Zeiger, Organic Wine Company

Destination Organic. If a visit to northern California's wine country is in your travel plans, be sure to pick up a copy of The Organic Traveler's Guide to the Wine Country. The 36-page guide includes a comprehensive listing of the area's organic wineries, restaurants, bakeries, food stores, farms and farmers markets -- a wealth of healthful information you're not likely to find in Fodor's."

Delicious magazine (November 1998)
NOTE: The current Guide is 112 pages.

Organic Outings .... Fortunately, the list of excuses just got shorter with the advent of Community Action Publication's newest anti-toxin opus, The Organic Traveler's Guide to the Wine Country, which offers 36 packed pages of contact information for more than 70 growers and purveyors of organic food, drink, and related resources in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties, all in a booklet that slips easily into the pocket behind the driver's seat. The directions are precise, the comments are helpful, the paper is rough and unbleached - all around, this is a great first effort.... Stock up on a few for your socially conscious houseguests....Get one for yourself, too; you might be surprised by how much good, 'green' stuff lies just around the bend."

Sonoma County Independent
(July 9-15, 1998, p. 15) 

"I think your guide is excellent, and I can't wait to see next year's edition. Please keep us on your mailing list for press releases and review copies!"

Marina Wolf
Sonoma County Independent  

"Great book. Can't wait to vacation in CA."

Heidi Carter, Lincoln NE, 6/9/98  

"Congrats, again, for a great final product."

Jeanne Merrill, Pesticide Watch  

"The Guide's awesome, a really great job ... We're glad to be in it ... As a consumer, we're excited to have it - can't wait to have time off and visit places. Such a good job, especially for the first time publishing it."

Guide participant 


"You're doing a truly outstanding, fantastic thing. I just saw a guy on his tractor and his white suit and this gas mask spraying today and I just got so enranged.... so keep up the outstanding work."

AB, 7/11/98  

"I really appreciate this information and have forwarded it to many others in our sustainability group. In fact, thank you for all your incredible output. I'm pleased to be on your team!"

AH, 9/11/98  

"Thanks very much for being such a great ambassador for all of our community."

Davy Davidson, VegTime

"You have the blessing of every conscious person in Sonoma County. You have all my spiritual support."

LB, 6/98  

"Thanks for all the hard/good/effective work you do to make the world a less toxic place!"

LR, 2/8/98  


Sonoma County Independent. The Guide was also featured and recommended in these columns:
- Eats: "Organic Resources" (June 8, 2000, p. 13)
- Eats: "Poison Less" (Jan. 22, 1998, p.17)
<> (The Independent is now called The Bohemian.)

Press Democrat.
- "Organic Guidebook to North Coast Out", June 27, 2001, p. D8.
- "Organic Handbook", March 14, 2001, p. D7.

Pacific Sun. In this weekly for the North Bay Area, "What's New: Going for Organics" strongly recommended the Guide (Pat Fusco, August 2, 2000, p.17) as did "Overheard" (Jessica Feinstein, June 24, 1998, p.7).

Natural Foods Merchandiser. In this periodical for people in the natural foods business, "Organic Options Overflow in Wine Country" described and strongly recommended the Guide. (Sept. 1998, p. 108, circulation 15,000)

Share Guide, review, Sept 2000, p. 93.


Pesticide Action Network Resources List. The Guide was featured in this resources list. (May 28, 1998) <>

CCOF magazine. Magazine for California Certified Organic Farmers (Spring 1998, and other references)


* Country Connections. This journal, subtitled "Seeking the good life - for the common good", recommended the Guide in their article about organics, "Organic Is Economic." (Jan. 1999).

* Sonoma-Marin Farm News. "Organic Farms and Businesses Invited to Join New Guide." (March 1998, p.4)

* Sonoma County Vegetarian Grapevine (July-Sept. 1998, circulation 60,000)

* Coast & Valley. The Guide was highlighted in this monthly magazine covering northern California. "Local Organic Vineyards". (June 1998, circulation 40,000)

* Wine Business Monthly. The Guide, with photo, was highlighted in this wine business periodical. (June 1998, p. 67)

* North Coast Xpress (Spring 1998, p.48)

* The Inspectors' Report. Newsletter for organic inspectors. (Spring 1998, p.10)

* Canary News. Health and environmental newsletter, for people made sick by and sensitive to chemicals. (July/Aug 1998, p.13)

* Organic Wine News Online (June 1998, August 1998, August 2001, and more)

* Vertical File Index. Listings of resources for library vertical files. (July 2000 and Sept. 1998)

* Harry O's Sunday Environmental Show. Patricia Dines interviewed on this radio show, twice. Live 105.

>> CAP is also a member of and supports a variety of environmental and related organizations.


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